Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson have been tipped for the male lead roles in 'The Hunger Games'.

'The Last Song' star Liam and 'The Kids Are Alright' actor Josh are said to be close to signing deals to play Gale Hawthorne and Peeta Mellark in the highly anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins' book trilogy despite Alex Pettyfer previously being linked to the role of Peeta.

The books focus on 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem where North America once stood. A powerful organisation holds all the power and each year chooses one boy and one girl from each district to fight to the death.

Gale is the hunting partner of Katniss, and Peeta is the baker's son chosen to accompany her as the district's entry into the deadly Hunger Games reality show competition.

It was revealed last month that 'Winter's Bone' star Jennifer had beaten off stiff competition from the likes of Abigail Breslin, Emma Roberts and Chloe Moretz to take on the lead female role.

Liam is currently working on 'Arabian Nights' while Josh will next be seen on screen in 'Journey 2' with Vanessa Hudgens.