The cast of The Hunger Games sequel is quickly taking shape. Last week’s, reports of Jena Malone signing on to Catching Fire to play the cunning Johanna Mason have been confirmed. Now Academy Award Winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman will be joining the cast of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Hoffman will sign on to play the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, who will succeed Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley) as the new Head Gamemaker. According to reports, Lionsgate made a deal before the fourth of July holiday but offered Hoffman the role more than a month ago on June 11th.
As the new head Gamemaker, the character of Plutarch Heavensbee tries to befriend Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), while trying to remain loyal to President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Plutarch Heavensbee plays a bigger role in the overall anti-rebellion aspects of the Catching Fire and Mockingjay (the third installment) storyline.
This is a blockbuster series full of past Oscar winners and nominees. After the loss of director Gary Ross, who was replaced with Francis Lawrence, the addition of Philip Seymour Hoffman will give a bit more pedigree to the young adult franchise, which, from its casting, is quickly becoming the American equivalent to the Harry Potter series.
Hoffman recently appeared on Broadway in a revival of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, alongside The Amazing Spider-Man’s Andrew Garfield. This will be Hoffman’s first appearance in a tentpole franchise since playing the scenery-chewing villain in 2006 in J.J. Abrams’ Mission: Impossible 3.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will start shooting in September to get set for its November 22nd 2013 release date.