With the primary cast members all coming back for Catching Fire, the adaptation of the second book in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy, the production is looking to fill in the other roles. Rumors about who will play former Games victor Finnick Odair are flying fast and furious, and now Lionsgate has offered a part in the film to versatile character actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Hoffman would play Plutarch Heavensbee, the new head game maker who fills the void left by the execution of Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley) after both Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Melark (Josh Hutcherson) are allowed to survive the 74th Hunger Games. Plutarch plays an integral part in Catching Fire, but an even bigger role the concluding chapter of the series, Mockingjay.
Plutarch is an egotistical blowhard who delights in crafting schemes and deceptions and watching people fall into them. Eventually he becomes a master of propaganda for the revolution, staging commercials and photo opportunities. He is boisterous, full of himself, and thinks he’s better than the people around him who he uses as pawns in his games.
Hoffman could be a lot of fun in this part. There is a level of affectation to Plutarch that Hoffman does well. He toes a line between playing big personalities without descending into cartoonish buffoonery. Plutarch is big, but there is also a conniving undercurrent to his personality, always out for number one.
PSH would join new director Francis Lawrence, (I Am Legend) who replaces Gary Ross on Catching Fire, when Lionsgate begins filming on the sequel in September.