I was the first to report yesterday that Jennifer Lawrence has emerged as the frontrunner for the role of Katniss in the film adaptation of The Hunger Games. Several hours later, just before the end of the business day, Variety posted the same, confirming my initial story that Lawrence has indeed “generated the most interest” even though they listed Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breslin as possible contenders too. Look, according to my sources, at this point Steinfeld and Breslin are so far behind in the running, Lawrence has pretty much lapped them, it’s not even a conversation.

What I can tell you however is that although Lawrence put down a great read and they are talking very seriously with her and really love her, I’ve just learned exclusively that they are still tossing around another name: Saoirse Ronan, mostly because no one can stop talking about her performance in the upcoming Hanna – the trailer is SO badass, I wrote about it here a couple months ago. I’ve spent the morning going back to the original sources who told me about Lawrence and they say that she is still favoured, but that it’s about “making sure we’ve exhausted every possibility. Katniss has to be perfect”. I’ve not been able to get any information about whether or not they’ve even met with Ronan yet but I’m hearing that the “interest is definitely there”. When I pressed about what Ronan’s chances are, I was told that “(Saoirse) has to dazzle them, like hit one out of the park if she wants to take out (Jennifer Lawrence)”. I’ll keep you posted.

This is Ronan at the Irish Film and Television Awards a couple of weeks ago on the carpet and also with her dad.

Photos from Wenn.com and Mark Doyle/Splashnewsonline.com