Austin Butler Reveals He Auditioned for Peeta Role in ‘The Hunger Games’

The cast of The Hunger Games franchise could’ve looked slightly different.

Austin Butler revealed in a Buzzfeed interview with his Bikeriders co-star Jodie Comer, he revealed that he auditioned for but didn’t get a part in the hit movie series.

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“I auditioned for The Hunger Games and I didn’t get it at all,” Butler said adding that he doesn’t even recall getting a “call back.”

He then revealed that he auditioned for the role of Peeta Mellark, the male tribute representing District 12 in the 74th annual Hunger Games, alongside female tribute Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence).

He added, “I don’t even think I got a call back; what’s the character, Peeta? Josh Hutcherson got that; he’s great.”

Hutcherson starred alongside Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth throughout the four Hunger Games films, with the films helping the trio become worldwide stars.

For her part, Comer revealed that she auditioned for Mamma Mia! around the same time she was auditioning for Killing Eve.

When reflecting on The Hunger Games audition process, director Gary Ross told The Hollywood Reporter, “Honestly, I had a real sense of who I wanted before the auditions, but because it was a huge franchise the studio wanted everyone to read, which was fine. It was fun, actually. Jennifer blew the doors off the place. Josh was pitch-perfect. I had no idea that Liam wasn’t American until I talked to him when the reading was over. They were all just great. These were honestly easy decisions for me.”

Though the final film in the Hunger Games franchise was released in 2015, the saga has recently been revived and continuing. Last year, Lionsgate released a prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes starring Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler. The film, also adapted from a novel of the same name by Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins, chronicled Coriolanus Snow’s early years before he eventually becomes the tyrannical president of Panem that was portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the films.

Earlier this month Lionsgate unveiled plans for a new Hunger Games filmThe Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping, based on Collins’ new novel. The story will take place in Panem 24 years before the events of The Hunger Games and timed for the reaping of the 50th Hunger Games, also known as the Second Quarter Quell. The victor of the 50th Hunger Games was Haymitch Abernathy, who was played by Woody Harrelson in the Hunger Games adaptations.

“The Second Quarter Quell is legendary and looms large over the history of the Games, even into the time of Katniss Everdeen a quarter-century later. Like fans around the globe, we are eagerly anticipating this exciting return to Panem,” Lionsgate Motion Picture Group head Adam Fogelson said in a statement.

Francis Lawrence is in talks to direct the adaptation for Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson’s Color Force banner. Lawrence, screenwriter Michael Arndt and producer Jacobson had teamed with Lionsgate on the four Hunger Games film adaptations — The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, which was split into two parts. The films grossed $3.3 billion in box office.

Scholastic will publish Sunrise on the Reaping simultaneously in print, digital and audio formats in North America and other English-speaking territories on March 18, 2025.

Lionsgate has set a wide theatrical release on Nov. 20, 2026, for The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping.

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