July 28th, 2011
11:48 AM ET
Fans of "The Hunger Games," who have been imagining for years what Katniss, Gale and Peeta would look like on-screen, are finally getting a glimpse of the characters.
The film's stars - Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson - are all featured in an exclusive shoot in this week's EW.
And although some readers have voiced concerns regarding Aussie actor Hemsworth taking on his tall, dark and handsome character, Gale Hawthorne, director Gary Ross says it was a perfect fit.
"On first glance he's such a hunk that it's easy to ascribe a hunklike simplicity to him," Ross conceded. "But this is a phenomenally subtle actor, totally in control of what he was doing."
Hutcherson told EW that he prepared for the role of baker's son, Peeta Mellark, by putting on 15 pounds of muscle in three weeks.
Despite some commenters' initial misgivings about casting announcements, these images look convincing enough to generate even more excitement for the movie, which is set to hit theaters March 23, 2012.
What do you think of the photos?
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