Although I followed the original Hunger Games film news religiously, I haven’t been as up-to-date on the Catching Fire news. Sure, I’m excited—as long as my heroine isn’t watered down again in order to beef up her uninteresting and disappointing love interest—but there really hasn’t been all that much news in the feeds regarding these movies—that is, until now.
While we’re still waiting on who’s going to be playing Finnick, Mags, Beetee and more, we do have two characters announced and while they are not actors I had previously associated with (or wished for) these roles, I think most fans will be pleased with them.
Johanna Mason: The witty and bitingly snarky Johanna, who serves as a foe for Katniss originally, will be played by the talented Jena Malone. Yes, you probably remember her from the god-awful Sucker Punch, in which she herself was great; the movie itself simply stank as guy eye candy and not much else. However, Malone has been in lots of other movies—from Cold Mountain to Stepmom—and I think she’s demonstrated a pretty decent range. She also has a look that I’m okay with for Mason, though I had hoped for a more colorful role—if not Natalie Portman, whom I want in basically everything.
Plutarch Heavensbee: There’s a new game-maker in town, and he’s much more jovial and open to Katniss than the previous one. Who better to play a friend-foe with good intentions yet no soul than Phillip Seymour Hoffman? I am delighted with this casting choice. With the exception of Red Dragon (I liked Manhunter better, anyway), I have loved every role I’ve ever seen Hoffman in and think he will bring a depth to this character that no other actor possibly could. I also think he’ll be able to do justice to Collins’ writing, which is always integral to book fans.
Fans can also mark their calendars (as I’ve already done, naturally), as the release dates for the final films have all been released. I say final because not only will we have Catching Fire on November 22, 2013; if production stays on task, we’ll have TWO more movies as Mockingjay will be split into two films to be released on November 21, 2014 and November 20, 2015. Rumors about the split have been circulating for a while, but they have since been confirmed.
Many fans (myself included) have expressed that Catching Fire might be better served in two parts, since it’s almost like two books occurring in one—what do you think? And are you happy with the casting choices so far?