Speculation over casting for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire seems to be finally picking up a little heat; so far most early rumors have been focusing on who’ll play the handsome fan favorite Finnick Odair, but now new reports are in that Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman could be joining the line-up as Plutarch Heavensbee, who plays a small yet pivotal part in the new film.

This seems to be the first bit of reliable casting news we’ve had for Catching Fire, with various outlets reporting that the role of the new Gamemaker – who will play a important role in the next installment of the series – has been offered to Hoffman.

Although it’s been picked up by Deadline and Variety that Hoffman has been approached for the part (Lionsgate is sticking with its usual “no comment” stance), it seems worth stressing that so far, it is only an offer – and with talks not even underway yet, there’s no guarantee that Hoffman will definitely sign on. And given the fact that Hoffman doesn’t often choose to do big-budget franchise projects, it seems unlikely, although he’s made exceptions in the past including Mission: Impossible III and Red Dragon.

So, what can we take from this news?  How about the fact that Lionsgate is looking at Hoffman in the first place – must mean they’re aiming high for casting, perhaps much the same as they were doing with the directing gig before selecting Francis Lawrence for the job. Hopefully it means we’ll soon see some more great names selected for the various roles on offer.

Hoffman’s potential character, Plutarch, plays a relatively minor, yet important role in Catching Fire; the smart and sly character ascends to the position of Head Gamemaker after the events of the first film, and his actions turn out to have a crucial impact on the storylines of both Catching Fire and its sequel Mockingjay.

With Catching Fire‘s start date now just a few months away, it looks like things are set to heat up a whole lot more in terms of casting. A release date of November 22, 2013 has already been set for the sequel.

Who would you like to see in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire?

Source: /Film