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OTRC: Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson join 'Hunger Games'

Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson have been cast in the upcoming film "The Hunger Games" opposite Jennifer Lawrence, whose role as main character Katniss Everdeen was confirmed last month.

The film is based on a novel by Suzanne Collins and is set for release on March 23, 2012. The "Hunger Games" are part of an annual televised event put on by the government, in which a boy and a girl from each district fight to the death.

Lawrence's character volunteers to take her little sister's place in the forced event. Hemsworth, 21, will play Gale Hawthorne, who shares a "transcendent bond" with Everdeen, the studio Lionsgate said in a statement.

Hemsworth, a 20-year-old Australian-born actor, starred opposite Miley Cyrus, his on-again, off-again girlfriend, in the 2010 film "The Last Song." Hemsworth has also appeared in the Australian soap operas "Neighbors" and "Home & Away."

Hutcherson, 18, will play Peeta Mellark, who also has a crush on Everdeen and accompanies her into the 74th annual Hunger Games as the boy chosen to fight from her district.

Hutcherson recently starred in the Oscar-nominated film "The Kids Are All Right" and also appeared alongside Vanessa Hudgens in the movie "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island." The two recently spent time together in public but have not confirmed a relationship.

Lawrence, 20, recently earned an Oscar nomination for her role in the 2010 movie "Winter's Bone." Aside from "The Hunger Games," she stars alongside Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster in the film "The Beaver," which comes out on May 20.

Lawrence also plays Mystique in the new "X-Men" movie reboot, "X-Men: First Class," which hits theaters on June 3.

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