Philip Seymour Hoffman joining ‘Catching Fire’?

Will Perkins
Wide Screen
June 13, 2012

Nothing gives your 'tween-targeted book-to-film adaptation more credit than adding some serious actors to the mix. Just look at the astoundingly skilled thespians that made up most of the supporting cast of the "Harry Potter" franchise for proof. The first "Hunger Games" film took a similar tack, casting actors like Woody Harrelson and Donald Sutherland in prominent supporting roles, and the sequel looks to be doing the same. (Sadly, "The Twilight Saga" sadly must settle for Peter Facinelli.)

According to a tweet sent out by Variety's Jeff Sneider yesterday, Lionsgate is reportedly offering intense character actor Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Capote") the part of Plutarch Heavensbee, the Capitol's new head gamemaker, in "Catching Fire." Lionsgate had no comment on the matter, but a passing mention just a moment earlier over at Deadline pretty much confirmed that Hoffman has likely been offered the part.

Warning: Spoilers to follow.

Plutarch Heavensbee replaces the late Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley), who was executed for going against the wishes of Sutherland's President Snow in the first film. The double-dealing Heavensbee is the perfect kind of role for the Oscar-winning Hoffman, who can seemingly play this sort of character in his sleep. If the actor does end up accepting the part in the Francis Lawrence-directed sequel, expect some serious scenery chewing to take place. The Heavensbee character also figures heavily in Suzanne Collins' third novel, "Mockingjay," and would likely do the same in the inevitable film version. Hoffman has mostly avoided franchise fare in the past, sticking to smaller independent films, but it's a fun role that an actor like him would probably get a real kick out of playing.

While the battle for roles like that of dashing Finnick Odair heats up amongst every young actor in Hollywood, expect the studio to quietly fill out parts for older actors with respected quantities like Hoffman.

What do you think? Is Hoffman how you pictured Plutarch Heavensbee?

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