After rumors which peaked at the start of this month, Lionsgate have officially confirmed that Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman, On Stranger Tides) will be playing Finnick Odair, possibly the most coveted role in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
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, this round 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.
Finnick is by far the most debated character in the sequel, with blogs and fans debating who would be perfect for the role ever since the film was announced months ago. Hailing from District 4, he is both one of the youngest victors and one of the most multi-faceted characters in the series. Appearance-wise, he’s the typical All-American guy: tall, muscular, widely handsome, and athletic with tanned skin, bronze-colored hair and blue-green eyes that make him incredibly popular amongst the citizens of the Capitol.
He, at first, is seen as extremely flirtatious, using his beauty and adding a “seductive purr” to his voice when he speaks to help him get what he wants. He’s described as a tribute who never needed to do anything to get sponsors thanks to his natural beauty and charisma. However, he’s not one to mess with, as his skills in the water, with a trident and with his nets and spears make him one of the most dangerous new characters Katniss meets in the sequel.
However, beneath that lies a man who, like the others, has been affected deeply not just by the events of his particular games but by the consequences of winning. Finnick uses his charisma and beauty to hide the man beneath, one who has been used and abused by the Capitol in order to protect the one he cares most for. In him, Katniss finds someone who understands her pain — not just in Catching Fire but also in Mockingjay as she deals with the consequences of her actions in the first sequel. She describes his true self as someone who does not just have a “self-effacing humor and easy going nature” but as a man who simply “radiates life.”
He’s one of the most interesting characters in the series by far, making this role potentially a huge game-changer for the up-and-coming Claflin. Though he’s been stacking up bigger and bigger roles ever since his debut two years ago, Claflin’s still looking for a role that will make him a known name in the business. Appearance-wise, he’s got the natural look of Finnick. However, Finnick’s appeal as a character lies more in his bravery and his story than in his looks. Claflin‘s been my favorite part of the few films I’ve seen him in thus far so, hopefully, he’ll have what it takes to do this role justice.
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth return to star opposite newcomers Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amanda Plummer, Jena Malone, Meta Golding, Bruno Gunn, Alan Ritchson, E. Roger Mitchell, Maria Howell, Stephanie Leigh Schlund, and Lynn Cohen.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hits theaters on November 22nd, 2013.
Is Claflin the right pick for Finnick? Did you prefer anyone else?
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