Yesterday was confirmed, what everybody already was presuming for weeks: Academy Award winner and scruffy teddy bear of a man Philip Seymour Hoffman has been cast in the role of Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Plutarch Heavensbee is the new Head Gamemaker of the deadly Hunger Games, who succeeds the rather unlucky Seneca Crane (played by Wes Bentley) of the first installment of the series. It’s a small, yet significant role, which Philip Seymour Hoffman should hit right out of the park.
Why? Well, if you’re not convinced (or just curious), here are five reasons.
From here on it gets extremely spoilerific, but that comes with the territory…
5. Philip Seymour Hoffman Is A Great Actor
A very simple reason, but an essential one none the less. The man is a scene stealing machine, which you know if you have seen his smaller roles in and .
4. Hoffman Exudes Immediate Warmth
At the end of Catching Fire, Panem is in deep shit — at least in the novel it is. The final scene has a sort of Empire Strikes Back-like quality as it finds the lead characters either captured or badly hurt (emotionally as well as physically). There’ also the mass murder element, so it’s important to give the viewer something to hold onto. Philip Seymour Hoffman should inject a little warmth into proceedings in those final moments, when the hysterical Katniss has to be calmed.
3. The Character Has A Great Scene With Katniss
When we first encounter Plutarch in the novel, it’s not clear that he actually is one of the good guys. His rapport with Katniss in their first big scene together is rather ambiguous. He dances with her at a party in the Capitol, trying to give her hints about his sympathies, yet he’s unable to (also because Katniss isn’t all too observant). The filmmakers would do well to keep the ambiguity, as this gives the character a mysterious edge.
2. His Possible Rapport With President Snow
One of the major additions of the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games was a scene between Seneca Crane and President Snow. The latter is played by legendary character actor Donald Sutherland, who makes so much more of the character than his one-dimensional alter-ego in the novels would lead one to expect. If a scene would be added between the secretly rebellious Heavensbee and the subtly threatening Snow, the acting gods would probably rejoice as the deep voices of these two acting Titans caress our ears.
1. Plutarch Has A Larger Role In the Third Novel: Mockingjay
As Lionsgate decided to divide the third book, Mockingjay, into two parts, this means we’re getting twice the Hoffman! What’s not to love?