‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Officially Casts Philip Seymour Hoffman As Plutarch Heavensbee

by Meg Malone

It’s still a long wait until “Catching Fire” makes its way to theaters in November 2013, but that hasn’t stopped casting from becoming a topic of widespread speculation and debate in the lead up to the film.

Well, today another face has joined the Panem world — and it’s quite a famous, Oscar-winning face. Lionsgate announced in a press release that Philip Seymour Hoffman has been cast in the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, the Head Gamemaker for the Quarter Quell games in “Catching Fire.”

The news doesn’t come as a total surprise as it was reported back in mid-June that Hoffman had been offered the role, and now it looks like things are finally official. This particular casting news comes just about a week after Jena Malone was reportedly offered the role of Johanna Mason, the tough young woman and former victor, who Katniss and Peeta first meet in the second installment.

“The Hunger Games” gave us a fair amount of behind-the-scenes moments with previous Head Gamemaker Seneca Crane, so it’ll be interesting to see if that same approach is followed when Hoffman’s Heavensbee takes the helm in this follow-up film.

While the series really hangs on the shoulders of Jennifer Lawrence as the young lead, the way the various adult actors in the “Hunger Games” film-verse, including Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz and Elizabeth Banks, brought their unique characters to life all helped author Suzanne Collins’ intricate world pop on the big screen. It’ll definitely be fun to see how the uber-talented Hoffman carves out his own niche.

As with any Hunger Games casting, it brings to mind the famous “Hunger Games” line: “May the odds be ever in your favor.” Any actor taking on the monumental task of living up to fans’ expectations can surely appreciate the sentiment, but for Hoffman and the others, we predict that the odds will be pretty solid.

How do you think Hoffman will be as Heavensbee? Any other casting predictions? Share your comments below or on Twitter!