Director Francis Lawrence Reveals How He Got Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch and other Cast in Catching Fire

Watch the video below (from MTV) or read the transcript about how director Francis Lawrence was able to convince award winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman on board The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as head gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee. Director Francis also talked about casting Johanna, Beetee, 

“We came up with the idea for Phil pretty early on,” Lawrence said. “He was the biggest role to cast and the most important role for the entire series if you think in terms of new additions. He was the first one we went after, but he was in the middle of ‘Death of a Salesman’ and wasn’t really interested in entertaining anything until he was kind of done and wrapped with that.”

“We did a fair amount of invention with him and [President] Snow [Donald Sutherland], so these are scenes that could possibly have happened in the background,” Lawrence said. “They’re not deviations, they’re additions to the book. Because it’s an antagonist-driven story, it was really important to see the scenes between Snow and Plutarch and to see the two of them kind of plotting and maneuvering.”

Plutarch Heavensbee at the Capitol Couture Spotlight – New Still

In the recent entry of Capitol Couture, Third Quarter Quell (75th Hunger Games) head gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee (to be portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman) has was able to share his ideas on the upcoming Games. Also, you get to see him and his fellow gamemakers in a new still.

A snippet from his profile at the Capitol Couture:

“As an artist, the games will provide me with almost unlimited creative freedom,” says Heavensbee, who is always circumspect about the details. “Allowing for the event itself to happen in real time adds a layer of constant excitement and anticipation. Add the human variable of the tributes themselves, and no one, not even I, can predict what will happen next.”   

Philip Seymour Hoffman on the Goodness of “Hunger Games” to the Kids and Taking the Role of Plutarch Heavensbee

In a recent article from the Wall Street Journal, Philip Seymour Hoffman was able to share why he became attached to the story written by Suzanne Collins in her trilogy “The Hunger Games.” He was also able to discuss why children should be able to know the story despite the “children killing children” part of the story. He then discussed why he accepted the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, the new head gamemaker and replacement to Seneca Crane, who died at the end of the first book. 

On the story of “The Hunger Games” trilogy:

“It’s unbelievable what this woman has done,” the actor said in an interview. “She literally tells our modern history of war and the awful things that have happened through these science-fiction novels. In the modern day, we send children off to die to protect our way of life, basically. It’s very powerful the way she does it.”

His amazement at Collins’s books made him say, “I’m in. I want to be a part of that,” he said. Despite the film’s bloody premise, he said the full story gives a very different message than simply “kids who kill each other.” According to him, if the films are done well, they are something kids should see.

On his role as Plutarch:

“I’m looking forward to the next two [films], because his job becomes very different,” Hoffman said of Plutarch’s role. “The story becomes very different and everyone will see what happens.”

Philip Seymour Hoffman is Plutarch (L) in Catching Fire with Woody Harrelson (R) as Haymitch

Philip Seymour Hoffman Talks about His Interest in Playing Plutarch and Joining the Cast in “The Hunger Games; :Catching Fire”

We all know that Philip Seymour Hoffman has been officially cast as Plutarch Heavensbee weeks ago. Now, EW has an exclusive chat with PHS and the actor talks about his interest in playing Plutarch and joining the amazing cast of the Hunger Games like Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, and Donald Sutherland.

Why did the deeply serious, Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman want to join Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, and Donald Sutherland in the cast of the second Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire? “I liked the people involved,” says Hoffman, who recently signed on to play Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee. “It’s a great group of actors. It’s a great environment. And the character was something I was attracted to. It was just an interesting role. [SPOILER ALERT] He’s somebody who’s part of the revolution, but you don’t know it. The idea that somebody would be risking themselves in such an extreme way to join something that’s that dangerous because he thinks it’s the future…that’s interesting stuff, you know?”
Hoffman hadn’t read Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novels when he found out he might be up for a role, so he watched the first movie and is currently halfway through the second book. “It’s good,” he says. “I’ve read the script, which is true to the book — I kinda ruined it for myself. [Laughs] But I’m reading it anyway, because I really want to find out everything I need to know about this guy.”
As well known as Hoffman is, he’s only occasionally made his way into blockbuster-level movies, and Catching Fire will thrust him into one of Hollywood’s most closely scrutinized franchises. But the actor — who, if all goes according to plan, will also appear in Mockingjay — says he’s not too worried. “Things always pass over, you know? I don’t know what it will be like. But, you know, I’m not playing Katniss. [Laughs] I’m not in high-profile movies in that way too often, so it usually passes. I’m 45. I think it will be all right.”
Philip Seymour Hoffman

It’s Official and Confirmed! Philip Seymour Hoffman is Plutarch Heavensbee in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

It’s now official and confirmed that Philip Seymour Hoffman will play the head gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” He will replace Wes Bentley’s (Seneca Crane) character in the sequel and has a very huge influence as the story continues. By the way, here’s the official press release from Lionsgate dated July 9, 2012. 
Santa Monica, CA, July 9, 2012- Lionsgate® and the filmmakers of THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE are pleased to announce that Philip Seymour Hoffman has been cast in the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, Head Gamemaker for The Hunger Games, in the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide smash hit novel Catching Fire. 
The actor and filmmaker just wrapped a Broadway run as Willy Loman in the revival of “Death of a Salesman” for which he was nominated for a Tony Award.  He will next be seen in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” and the indie film “A Late Quartet” alongside Catherine Keener and Christopher Walken.  More recent films include “Moneyball,” “The Ides of March” and “Jack Goes Boating” which marked Hoffman’s feature directorial debut.
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark.   Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts.  Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE will be directed by Francis Lawrence, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the second in a trilogy that has over 36 million copies in print in the U.S. alone.   
Lionsgate will release THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE on November 22, 2013.
Ongoing casting news and information for the film can be found at:

Philip Seymour Hoffman Has Signed in to Play Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

According to Variety, Philip Seymour Hoffman was rumored that he has been offered to play the head gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee (after Seneca Crane died in the first book) several weeks ago. Now, E! News has reported that Hoffman has already signed to play the part. According to E! News:

“The deal was made right before the Fourth of July holiday,” one source said.

Lionsgate does not comment on casting until something is official. An announcement about Hoffman is expected to be released any day now.

The Hollywood Reporter reported that Hoffman, 44, was offered the role on June 11.

 What do you think?

Catching Fire Casting News: The Role for Plutarch Heavensbee Offered to Philip Seymour Hoffman

I guess Lionsgate is still a bit tight with the casting since they didn’t tell us who Finnick is! Anyway, according to Entertainment Weekly (via Deadline and Jeff Snyder), Philip Seymour Hoffman was offered the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, the head gamemaker of the Third Quarter Quell or the 75th Annual Hunger Games. Plutarch is one of new characters in Catching Fire who has a major role. Lionsgate has no comment on that rumor. Let’s just wait until an official announcement is released!
Philip Seymour Hoffman
What do you think? I think he’s got the physical description in the book and I know he can act because he’s been in the Broadway.