The third and fourth installment of The Hunger Games—Mockingjay Part 1 and 2, respectively—recently lost a key player with the tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Now, the final chapter in the adaptation of Suzanne Collin’s young adult trilogy has lost another piece. Lily Rabe recently bowed out of Part 2, as Commander Lyme, but multiple sources report that the role has just been filled by Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie.
Be careful, there are SPOILERS for the Mockingjay movies beyond this point.
Rabe was forced out of the lucrative YA franchise due to scheduling conflicts with an obligation to appear in a Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing. Commander Lyme is one of the military leaders of District 13, which, up to this point in the narrative has been presumed to be a desolate wasteland after the Capital squashed it in open combat. She leads the rebel forces in their attempt to take over the “Nut,” a hidden mountain base where the Capital hides its cache of missiles.
Though she wants to overthrow the capital and end the corrupt rule of President Snow (Donald Sutherland), Lyme is far more interested in using Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) for her political capital. She’s not as bad as President Alma Coin, but she’s still a dick that doesn’t care whether Katniss lives or dies.
Lyme is herself a former winner of the Hunger Games, hailing from District 2, and is described as tall and muscular. Christie certainly fits the bill in this regard, given that she is 6’3”. Most known for her role as the sword-wielding Lady Brienne of Tarth on HBO’s hit fantasy series, she has proven that she can handle the physicality the role of Lyme requires. It’s been a while since I read the books, but I remember that there is at least one large-scale battle sequence that she’ll have to deal with. Raiding a military base shouldn’t be much of an issue after trading blows and barbs with Jamie Lannister for two seasons on GoT.
Mockingjay—Part 1 opens on November 21 of this year, while Part 2 is scheduled for released on November 20 of 2015. Director Francis Lawrence began filming both movies at the same time last September in Atlanta, and will wrap up in France and Germany later this spring. They are scheduled to film huge fight scenes at Berlin’s abandoned Templehof Airport and around massive apartment complexes outside of Paris. You can’t help but think that this last location could figure prominently in the scenes where Katniss and her team make their way through the streets of the Capital near the end of the story.