There is casting news to report today in regards to Lionsgates’ The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The studio reportedly offered Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman the role of Plutarch Heavensbee which is the character who takes up Seneca Crane’s (Wes Bentley) position of Head Gamemaker. While pretty much given the role, it would appear that Hoffman is yet to take it and probably already rejected it, yet it is fun to look at the possibility of yet another high quality actor joining the already stacked supporting cast.
If added to Catching Fire, Hoffman would join the likes of Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, and Woody Harrelson among others. Such a cast could anchor a whole other movie, but these are just second fiddle bit players to the stars of the show Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth.
All of those just mentioned will be taking direction from I Am Legend helmer Francis Lawrence this time around. The original director Gary Ross exited the franchise shortly after its theatrical success because Lionsgate would not give him the time he needed for reshoots. The studio wanted to push Catching Fire out the door in November of next year, but Jennifer Lawrence’s obligations to the X-Men: First Class franchise complicated matters.
The Hunger Games currently is still drumming up business at the box office, but it is worth mentioning that the movie has passed the $400 million milestone on the domestic level and has amassed another $248 million on top of that from overseas markets. This kind of box office production could prove hard to replicate given the nature of this film, so it is not at all surprising that Lionsgate is pushing hard for some deep casting among the supporting cast.
Here is the spoiler-filled description (via The Hunger Games Wiki) of Plutarch Heavensbee for those who want more information about the character.
Plutarch works as a Head Gamemaker, but is also a leader for the underground rebellion of District 13. He is only revealed to be part of the rebellion in the end of Catching Fire when he reveals that they are heading to District 13, a district believed to have been destroyed when the first rebellion took place. In District 13, he is head of propaganda and makes videos of Katniss as the Mockingjay.
Plutarch is given the job of Secretary of Communications by President Paylor at the end of Mockingjay, which means he is in charge of the programing on the airwaves.
Plutarch and his secretary, Fulvia, both survive the series.