The news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death brings with it questions about the production of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2. Such questions are only natural for fans of the series and the actor. We know Philip Seymour Hoffman for his contribution to the screen and stage, and the sad reality is that those contributions are now numbered.
Hoffman had a small but memorable role in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as game-maker Plutarch Heavensbee. As fans of the books know, Heavensbee plays a crucial role in the final volume of the trilogy, and Mockingjay‘s outcome directly depends upon his involvement in the plot
That book is now being filmed, in two parts, and the word comes from Hollywood Reporter that a majority of Hoffman’s work for the final films has already been completed. Hoffman finished his Mockingjay Part 1 scenes prior to his untimely death, and had 7 more shooting days scheduled for Part 2, including “one major scene in the final film.”
Director Francis Lawrence should have no trouble with the technical details of accounting for the lack of Hoffman’s presence in production terms. Production will include rewrites, technological solutions like CGI and cut-aways and other simple techniques to fill the visual gap left by Hoffman. But that’s just the technical needs to be meet; any lost screen-time for Hoffman is an unfortunate loss for all.
Hoffman’s performance in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a prime example of the surprising power the actor could muster in playing character parts. Though only on screen for a matter of minutes, Hoffman left an indelible impact on the flash and verve that is The Hunger Games. Among a cast of accomplished actors in minor roles throughout the films, Hoffman as Plutarch was as memorable as anyone.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 comes out November 21, 2014. Part 2 will be released November 2015.