With the untimely and unexpected tragic death of world-class actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, his last film and performance will be The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part Two. According to Lionsgate, Mr. Hoffman had wrapped on the first part of Mockingjay, which is due in theaters this November, but had a week or so left in shooting the film’s second part. With Mockingjay‘s writers and producers scrambling to re-work the last film in the Hunger Games franchise’s screenplay, there are new revelations that suggest that film technology might step in to finish Hoffman’s work.
Sources close to the film’s production say Hoffman might be digitally replicated for a few shots involving head gamesmaker Plutarch Heavensbee’s final scene in Mockingjay – Part Two. According to THR, “They seem to have plans that don’t seem very complicated. … You can do digital things, you can have conversations where you’re not focusing on him but the people he’s talking to.”
It seems that Lionsgate wants to re-work the film in such a way that will please Hunger Games fans, while at the same time honoring the memory of Philip Seymour Hoffman. A Lionsgate executive told THR:
We’re all extraordinarily sad, but as it relates to production, it’s going to have no impact. Obviously, we’re going to have a couple of work-around issues but the movie will be creatively whole. His performances in both [remaining] movies will be up to the best of his craft. We feel it will be a good tribute to him.
It’s unclear of how much a digital Philip Seymour Hoffman might play into Mockingjay, but it sounds like it will only be for a new key shots of Plutarch Heavensbee’s final scene. If visual effects artists can make an exact digital replication of young Jeff Bridges for Tron: Legacy, then a digital Philip Seymour Hoffman isn’t far fetched at all.
Plutarch Heavensbee first appeared in last year’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but the character will be expanded for the remaining sequels. Heavensbee plays into the rebellion and becomes a mentor of sorts to Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence.
In Mockingjay, after being disqualified from the 75th Hunger Games, or Third Quarter Quell, Katniss Everdeen agrees to be the face of the new revolution against the Capitol and President Snow. Gale Hawthorne rises to a leadership role, while Peeta Mellark continues to be a victim of President Snow’s brainwashing after being captured during the deadly competition.
Mockingjay also features Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone, Stef Dawson, Natalie Dormer, Evan Ross, Meta Golding, Lily Rabe, Patina Miller, and Mahershalalhashbaz Ali. It will be dedicated to the memory of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part One hits theaters everywhere on November 21, 2014, while Part Two will open on November 20, 2015.