For weeks now, rumors seemed to fly rampant regarding just who would be cast in the role of Finnick Odair in the highly anticipated sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. While it seemed as if Lionsgate were aiming for three huge stars, these rumors were later debunked at the MTV Movie Awards by one of the sequel’s producers, wiping the casting slate clean. While it seems like the film has been off to a slow start lately, casting is expected to pick up very soon as the training for the movie kicks off in the coming months. Now, it seems an A-list star may join the high-profile follow up as a very vital role from the final two novels may have just been set.
Variety‘s Jeff Sneider reports that Phillip Seymour Hoffman has been offered the role of Plutarch Heavensbee for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. There’s no word on whether or not the Academy Award winning actor will take the role, as word is surfacing that he has currently ditched his agent, but if so the role of Plutarch is a big one not only in Catching Fire but in the series’ finale Mockingjay as well.
Replacing Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley in the film), Plutarch Heavensbee is the gamemaker of the 75th Annual Hunger Games in the sequel. Due to a twist thanks to the next Hunger Games being a part of “a quarter quell”, the next fight has the misfortune of casting previous victors of the games into the annual bloodbath. Heavensbee is at first infamous in the books for being the character that is so surprised by Katniss’ arrow act of rebellion within the training room, the characters falls back into a punch bowl. However, Heavensbee soon becomes a major factor in the overarching story of the Districts’ rebellion at the end of Catching Fire, and his role only increases in prominence as the series goes on.
As always, Lionsgate did not comment on the report due to their stance on early casting talk. However, if the actor does accept the offer, Lionsgate will likely issue a press release to announce the casting sometime this week at the earliest.
Francis Lawrence will be taking over directorial duties onCatching Fire, which is aiming for a fall production start, and will be based off of a script from Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) and Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3).
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, and Lenny Kravitz, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is set for a release on November 22nd, 2013.