And the Hunger Games casting news continues to roll in. Lionsgate has just announced that Director Francis Lawrence has cast Patrick St. Esprit (Sons of Anarchy, Super 8, Green Zone) in the upcoming adaptation of the second book in Suzanne Collins‘ wildly popular teen series, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. [Variety]
The sequel sends previous game victors Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark on a “Victor’s Tour” of Panem’s 12 districts, during which Katniss notices the birth of a rebellion and President Snow announces the 75th Annual Hunger Games. However, these Games will bring new dangers and unexpected challenges that will drag Katniss and Peeta back to the Arena and test everything they know about themselves and each other.
Esprit will play Romulus Thread, the new Head Peacekeeper of Katniss’s home district. Fiercely loyal to the Capitol, Thread is uncompromising and will not blink an eye at carrying out brutal punishments to enforce the government’s oppressive laws in District 12. It’s not a terribly big role but one that underscores the Capitol’s fear of rebellion and of Katniss’s status as the unwitting symbol of the new movement against the regime. St. Esprit’s had much experience playing leading military men in films like We Were Soldiers, United 93, Green Zone, and Super 8 and police officers in episodes of Rizzoli & Isles and NCIS: Los Angeles. Not the most exciting bit of casting news we’ve seen out of this film but definitely a welcome addition to the cast of the much anticipated sequel.
In related news, The Master star Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who is already part of the cast as Plutarch has given EW a reason why he joined such a big blockbuster, an abnormal career choice for the actor. He said, “I liked the people involved. 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.” As he reads his way though the trilogy, he said, “It’s goo. “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.
Lastly he remarked on his exact reason for joining just a high-profile film, saying, “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.” Aside from clearly bringing in the big bucks, it may actually be nice to see Hoffman a bit out of his element.
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth return to star opposite newcomers Amanda Plummer, Jena Malone and Lynn Cohen. Michael Arndt is in talks to pen the script for the film releasing on Nov. 22, 2013.
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