Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson wanted to helm The Hunger Games starring Naya Rivera. Rivera was best known for playing the role of Santana Lopez on Glee. Her body was recently found at Lake Piru in California after Rivera was pronounced missing last week at the lake during an outing with her son. Rivera was only 33.
The main protagonist of The Hunger Games novels and subsequent movie adaptation was Katniss Everdeen. Although Katniss was only trying to save her sister by taking her place in the deadly Hunger Games initially, she eventually became the symbol of the rebellion against the evil government of Panem. Katniss was a great character because she was an unlikely, yet a relatable hero who just wanted to save her sister. Jennifer Lawrence was eventually cast as Katniss for all of the Hunger Games movies.
News of Naya Rivera’s death caused a ripple of heartfelt celebrity tributes to the fallen actress. Scott Derrickson honored Rivera in a way only a director could. He revealed on his Twitter page that he would have likely cast Rivera in the coveted role of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games had he been chosen to direct. Check out his full post on the matter below.
There’s no doubt that Lawrence did a fantastic job as Katniss. What’s heartbreaking about Derrickson’s post is the loss of possibility from Rivera’s take on the role. After all, Rivera transformed what was only supposed to be a minor role as snarky cheerleader Santana Lopez on Glee into a dynamic, tour-de-force performance as a lesbian Latina woman with a powerful voice who finally came to terms with who she really was as a person. Derrickson’s observation of Hunger Game’s author Suzanne Collin’s original description of Katniss was right on target when he thought of Rivera. Not only does the physical description of Katniss match Rivera’s, but the Glee actress would have likely captured Katniss’s fierce determination and desire to protect her loved ones with aplomb. It’s sad that fans never got to see Rivera’s take on Katniss. Casting Rivera as one of the most famous female characters in movie/book history at the time would’ve also been monumental in terms of representation.
Rivera also would’ve done a great job singing “Rue’s Lullaby,” a song Katniss sang to fellow Hunger Games tribute Rue when Rue was dying. The actress’s untimely and tragic death means that fans can only imagine what could’ve been. While Rivera never starred as Katniss in The Hunger Games she definitely set the bar high for comedic and musical standards with her now iconic Glee character. More importantly, Rivera left a lasting legacy by saving her son’s life, which is far more important than any movie role.
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Source: Scott Derrickson