It’s been at least a good few weeks since we’ve been relieved of daily casting updates on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, while camera have finally begun to roll in Atlanta for the highly anticipated sequel. With an impressive cast featuring more than a few notable names, the hit novel series will return to the big screen late next year while we already know just who will be both pairing up and going against the duo of Katniss & Peeta this time around. But not every role has been filled just yet. Today, the studio has announced one of the final vacant character spots has been filled by an actor who’s graced not only science fiction with last year’s Source Code but has also been a lending hand to the one and only James Bond in the super spy’s previous two adventures.
Lionsgate has announced today that actor Jeffrey Wright will play the role of Beetee in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. A District 3 tribute, Beetee is an inventor who assists the resistance movement that was set into motion. The character is a previous Hunger Games winner asked to compete in the Quarter Quell special that has returning champions competing once more for survival. Beetee and Wiress never leave each other’s side, and are allies of Katniss and Peeta.
Back in July, Tony Shalhoub was rumored to be taking the role of Beetee while Melissa Leo was also said to be in talks for the part of Mags. With Wright’s hiring, both rumors have effectively been shot down.
More information on Wright via press release:
Critically acclaimed actor Jeffrey Wright has continually pushed at the boundaries of his craft with inspired performances over a celebrated career spanning the worlds of theatre, film and television. Wright can next be seen with Mark Walhberg, Russell Crowe and Katherine Zeta-Jones in Allen Hughes’ political thriller BROKEN CITY, which will be released by FOX on January 18, 2013.
Most recently, Wright completed work on Jim Jarmusch’s independent film ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, and earlier in 2012, he completed filming on two additional independents – A SINGLE SHOT, directed by David Rosenthal, and THE INEVITABLE DEFEAT OF MISTER AND PETE, directed by George Tilman.
Wright garnered a Tony® Award in 1994 for his work in Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic “Angels in America” and reprised his “Angels” role in HBO’s 2003 mini-series adaptation of the play, earning both a Golden Globe® and an Emmy® for his groundbreaking performance. His brilliant portrayal of the renowned and controversial graffiti artist, Jean Michel Basquiat, in the 1996 film BASQUIAT, received widespread praise from critics and earned him an Independent Spirit Award® nomination.
On the other end of the spectrum, Wright has taken on roles in 2011’s SOURCE CODE and the 2006 and 2008 James Bond films, CASINO ROYALE and QUANTUM OF SOLACE; and also in 2008, starred as Muddy Waters in CADILLAC RECORDS and as Colin Powell in Oliver Stone’s W. In 2005, he co-starred in the award-winning film SYRIANA, and his other credits include Jonathan Demme’s remake of THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE; Jim Jarmusch’s BROKEN FLOWERS, earning another Independent Spirit Award® nomination; Ang Lee’s RIDE WITH THE DEVIL, and SHAFT.
For his portrayal of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in HBO’s BOYCOTT, he received a 2001 AFI award. Wright, a gifted theater actor, earned an Obie award and a Tony nomination for his work in Susan-Lori Parks’ 2001 Pulitzer Prize-winning play “TOPDOG/UNDERDOG,” which was directed by George C. Wolfe.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will be directed by Francis Lawrence, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the second in a trilogy that has sold more than 50 million books in print and digital in the U.S. alone.
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Golding, Jena Malone, Lynn Cohen, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Amanda Plummer, Willow Shields, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones and more, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is set for release on November 22nd, 2013.