Austin Butler Opens Up About Missing Out on Major ‘Hunger Games’ Role

Austin Butler

Austin Butler recently shared that he auditioned for the role of Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games but didn’t make the cut. The part ultimately went to Josh Hutcherson, who appeared in the four Hunger Games movies from 2012 to 2015, alongside Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen and Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne. “I auditioned for The Hunger Games, but I didn’t get it,” told Butler . “I don’t even think I got a call back. Josh Hutcherson got that role, and he’s great.”

Butler was joined in the interview by his The Bikeriders co-star Jodie Comer, who shared her own missed opportunity: “I auditioned for Mamma Mia! That was during the same time I was auditioning for Killing Eve,” she said. Before trying out for The Hunger Games, Butler was known for his roles in Disney Channel and Nickelodeon shows like Zoey 101, iCarly, and Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure.

Butler’s breakout film role came in 2022’s Elvis, directed by Baz Luhrmann. He then landed a significant role in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two, which was released in theaters this March. Meanwhile, The Hunger Games franchise is set to expand with Lionsgate’s announcement of a new prequel movie based on Suzanne Collins’ upcoming novel, Sunrise on the Reaping.

The book is slated for release in 2025, with the film adaptation scheduled to hit theaters on November 20, 2026. Francis Lawrence, who directed every Hunger Games installment since 2012’s Catching Fire, is reportedly in talks to direct the new prequel.

The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping will explore the world of Panem 24 years before the events of the original Hunger Games series and four decades after The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, which was recently adapted into a film starring Rachel Zegler, Tom Blyth, Viola Davis, and Peter Dinklage.