Early last month, we reported that Lionsgate had offered Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman the role of Plutarch Heavensbee in the HUNGER GAMES sequel, CATCHING FIRE and now, E! Online is reporting that he has officially signed on to star in the upcoming sequel. For those of you who haven’t read the books, Heavensbee takes over as Head Gamemaker after Seneca Crane (played by Wes Bentley in the first film) meets his unfortunate end.
Francis Lawrence (I AM LEGEND, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS) will be at the helm this time around, taking over for Gary Ross with shooting expected to begin in September. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and the majority of the principal cast from the first film are expected back for the sequel, alongside new addition Jena Malone (SUCKER PUNCH, THE RUINS) who landed the highly coveted role of Johanna Mason last week. Lionsgate has scheduled CATCHING FIRE for release on November 22, 2013.
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark (Hutcherson). But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry… and the Capitol wants revenge!
Source: E! Online