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Well, it’s official, at least according to E! Online, who reports that sources have told them Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman has officially signed on the dotted line to play Plutarch Heavensbee in the upcoming Lionsgate sequel, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”.
Hoffman was reportedly offered the role more than a month ago, and there has been no word since if he had said Yes or No. Turns out, it’s a Yes. Lionsgate, as they are wont to do, should put out an official statement on the casting soon enough. Hoffman is a bit get, and I expect they’ll want to do a little bragging about it.
Hoffman would play Plutarch Heavensbee, the new gamesmaker of the Hunger Games after the previous one (played by Wes Bentley in the first “Hunger Games”) met an untimely end at the hands of Capitol President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Heavensbee is a man with his own agendas, and would be appearing in not just “Catching Fire”, but also the third movie in the franchise, “Mockingjay”. (I still expect them to split the last book into two movies. I honestly can’t see them squeezing all of it into just one.)
Also recently offered a cushy role in the sequel was Jena Malone (of “Sucker Punch” fame), though no word on her decision as well. But since she auditioned for the role, it seems unlikely she’ll say No.
Francis Lawrence will direct the sequel, taking over for Gary Ross who decided to jump ship. Shooting is expected to commence later this year for a 2013 release, with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth back as the battling teens.