With about two months to go until shooting for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins, casting news will most likely be coming quickly and furiously. Over the weekend, we reported that actress Jena Malone had been cast as Johanna Mason, the cunning former tribute from District 7, however, Lionsgate has yet to confirm this news and her picture has not been added to the Catching Fire Cast on The Hunger Games Facebook page. As of today, Panem officially has its Head Game Maker. Today, Lionsgate confirmed the details of casting Oscar-winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, the Game Maker promoted following the disposing of Seneca Crane.
Hoffman won an Oscar for his role in Capote and most recently has appeared in Moneyball and The Ides of March. He was nominated for a 2012 Tony Award for his portrayal of Willie Loman in the revival of Death of a Salesman and will soon appear in the Paul Thomas Anderson film The Master. While invisible in The Hunger Games, the character of Plutarch becomes extremely important in Catching Fire and Mockingjay. To stay as spoiler free as possible, his duty goes well beyond the position of Head Game Maker of the 75th Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell).
In addition to the announcement that Hoffman has officially signed on as Plutarch Heavensbee, Lionsgate released the first official synopsis of Catching Fire:
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE will be directed by Francis Lawrence, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the second in a trilogy that has over 36 million copies in print in the U.S. alone. Lionsgate will release THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE on November 22, 2013.
Ongoing casting news and information for the film can be found at: www.CatchingFireCasting.com
Hoffman is the first new cast member to be added to the roster. Stay tuned to Word of the Nerd Online for updates.