According to one source (Fanshare) Liam Hemsworth and Kit Harington are in the lead for the part of Jared in The Host. (There’s also a mention that Dianna Agron had been interested in the part of Melanie before Ronan was cast, but the article does not cite any sources for its information.) While it seems that fan interest is definitely higher for these two actors, there may be some concern with casting them in a project with the potential of The Host. This is especially true taking into consideration the popularity of Meyer’s other series, Twilight, and the fact that this movie will be released a few short months after the last installment of Breaking Dawn. I predict that many Twilight fans will become more interested in this project of Meyer’s once that saga has reached its end. There has already been concern expressed previously (with the casting of Ronan) that this movie will be geared towards the same audience age (despite the book being aimed at an older audience).
Dealing with this kind of pressure would be more than enough for any actor to handle. Ronan mentioned in a previous article (here) that the pressure and fame is not something that can be prepared for, but only be dealt with as it happens. That being said, I find it surprising that both Kit Harington and Liam Hemsworth are in the running for lead spots in other films that would be filming at the same time as The Host.
Fox announced recently (here) that they are going to be making a 5th Die Hard movie (whether this is a wise move or not after critiques of the 4th movie is a whole other discussion we could have). It is set to be released on February 14th, 2013. As we announced in a previous post, The Host is set for release on March 29th, 2013. Similar to his competition for the part of Jared, Liam Hemsworth is one of the four actors that they have narrowed down the competition to for the part of John McClaine’s son (here). The Die Hard movie series does not have the current following of Twilight, by any means, but I would argue that there is a significant following of fans who have been watching this series since its first installment in 1988. Despite the increasingly far-fetched stunts introduced in the 4th movie, the project did include some high profile actors in addition to series regular Bruce Willis and grossed more in the box office than its budget, though it’s unclear how significant its profit was or how it compared to other films released at the time. It is also rumored that Justin Long may even be reprising his role from the 4th movie, but as his son-in-law now. All that considered, the pressure for a long-running series such as this one to continue to succeed and employ talented actors invested in the work could be high. The setting for the film is also in Russia, at least in part, but it has not been announced yet if they will be filming on location or not. If Hemsworth was cast for both of these lead roles, could he handle the pressure and fame that may accompany these projects (especially after the following The Hunger Games has already)? And would he be able to handle both shooting schedules with the movies being released a month apart and possibly filmed in two different countries? And let’s not forget that Hemsworth would have more screen time in the second two parts of The Hunger Games series if the first one does well this upcoming March.
Kit Harington is also being considered for a main part in an upcoming project, Arthur and Lancelot. He is one of only two actors they have narrowed casting down to for the lead roles of both Arthur and Lancelot, but which actor is up for which part is still to be seen. (Side note: one of the actors that was in the running for these roles, but is no longer, is Liam Hemsworth.) Their screen testing was held with the director in London a couple of weeks ago. Another article reports that Harington’s competitor has in fact been cast for the part of Lancelot and that a few other actors are still being considered for the role of Arthur alongside Harington. This film is set to hit theaters on March 15th, 2013. Being released only a couple weeks before The Host, it is safe to assume that the films will also be shooting during the same time period. In addition to this potential schedule conflict, Harington is also still on the show Game of Thrones, which has the potential to run for several more seasons as they are only now entering filming for the second season which returns in April.
As a person with theater background, I understand the importance of auditioning for a large number of parts (the chances of landing a role are usually not high). I also understand that the demand for two actors who have supposedly shown a great deal of potential (I have not personally seen anything either actor has been in, yet) is going to be high. My concern is that The Host, which I consider to be a beautifully written book and definitely on my list of favorites, needs actors who are willing to really devote themselves to making it a spectacular project. I’m not familiar with whether Ronan has other projects she will be working on while also doing The Host, but from her interviews it seems that she is ready and willing to give that level of commitment when needed. It is possible that neither Harington or Hemsworth intend to work on more than one project at a time and are just trying to increase their opportunities, but when it comes down to it, will they choose The Host over something else that is vying for their attention?