The popularity of The Hunger Games series and the first movie has led to a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding the making of the second cinematic edition to the movie saga, Catching Fire. Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, Water for Elephants) will be replacing Gary Ross as director, making many anxious about the stylistic changes he will make in the sequel, which is due out Thanksgiving weekend in 2013. However, most of the buzz is all about which actors will be cast as Catching Fire’s newest characters.
So far, I think production has done a great job with casting the first time around, particularly with Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, and Jennifer Lawrence (I have the biggest girl crush on her). But Catching Fire is hands down my favorite book of the series, and if they screw up casting (or anything) in this much-anticipated sequel I will not be a happy camper! So far, the casting rumors that have been released make it seem like they’re on the right track. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was just offered the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, the new Head Gameskeeper after the demise of Seneca Crane, which I think is absolutely spot on.
However the part I’m most worried about is Finnick Odair. As the former victor and demi-god from District 4, the casting team is looking for a very tall and handsome Caucasian man in his late 20’s. That sounds impossible to find in Hollywood, right? Reportedly, the pool of actors in the running for the part has been narrowed down to Armie Hammer (The Social Network), Garret Hedlund (Tron), and Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights). Though I was kind of hoping for Ryan Kwanten, my favorite piece of eye candy from True Blood, I am very excited about these three guys. Obviously any of them would be fantastic, and all have proved their skills as an actor, but my pick would have to be Hedlund. Ever since I saw Country Strong, he shot straight to #1 on my celebrity crush list and hasn’t been close to moving since. All in all, I think Lionsgate has been doing fabulously translating the series to the big screen, and I can’t wait to see who else they will cast as the other competitors in the Quarter Quell.