Now that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is breaking all sorts of records at the box office, focus has turned towards the sequel, currently filming in North Carolina. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay is looking more and more like it will feature more action and political intrigue. While Mockingjay is currently shooting, the sequel recently added another new actor to its growing cast.
Lionsgate tweeted that Robert Knepper is the newest actor to sign on to appear in Mockingjay parts one and two. Knepper will play Antonius, the minister to Panem President Coriolanus Snow (Donald Sutherland). What makes this bit of casting interesting, you might ask? It appears that Antonius is an original character, one that isn’t featured in any of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling Hunger Games novels. Although directors Gary Ross and Francis Lawrence took a few liberties with the source material, this is the first time that the production has added a new character to the franchise.
— The Hunger Games ? (@TheHungerGames) December 11, 2013
Seeing how Mockingjay will be split into two full-length parts, the studio doesn’t think there’s enough material to support two films, so screenwriter Danny Strong expanded the story to open up the world. There’s no telling how the Antonius character will be received by fans, or if there will be more new additions. Julianne Moore’s character, District 13’s President Alma Coin, character will be expanded in the film adaptations. A few weeks ago, Lawrence revealed that Mockingjay will conclude with the epilogue featured in Collins’ book.
Knepper is best known for playing the character of Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell on Fox’s Prison Break. He also appeared in the TV series Heroes, Carnivàle, and Stargate Universe. Knepper has been featured in a few movies as well, including R.I.P.D., Good Night, and Good Luck, and The Day the Earth Stood Still remake. Currently, he can be seen on the superhero TV series Arrow on The CW and former-Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont’s new TV series Mob City on TNT.
After being disqualified from the 75th Hunger Games, or Third Quarter Quell, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) agrees to be the face of the new revolution against the Capitol. Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) rises to a leadership role, while Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) continues to be a victim of President Snow’s brainwashing after being captured during the deadly competition. It’s unclear where in Mockingjay‘s story the first movie will end and the second will begin, but a natural break in the story comes just before the rebels invade the Capitol. Prepare for another awkward cliffhanger ending.
Mockingjay also features returning stars Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone, Meta Golding, and adds Moore, Stef Dawson, Natalie Dormer, Evan Ross, Lily Rabe, Patina Miller, and Mahershalalhashbaz Ali to the cast.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part One hits theaters everywhere on November 21, 2014, while Part Two will open on November 20, 2015.