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Sam Claflin, Melissa Leo and Tony Shalhoub Up for 'Catching Fire'

by
July 17, 2012
Source: Variety, IndieWire

Sam Claflin / Melissa Leo / Tony Shalhoub

It's a big day for news on the sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Today Pulp Fiction star Amanda Plummer landed the role of Wiress, an older tribute in the 75th annual Hunger Games who finds herself reentering the arena for the third Quarter Quell, which calls upon victors from the previous games to battle again. Now three more tributes are being lined up as Variety reports Sam Claflin, Melissa Leo and Tony Shalhoub are all up for integral parts in the adaptation of the second book in Suzanne Collins' best-selling young adult trilogy. Details on their roles and news on a new director for Mockingjay below.

Tony Shalhoub ("Monk") is up for the role of Beetee, a technological genius and inventor who gets the nickname "Volts" alongside Wiress' "Nuts" (thanks to Johnna Mason, being played by Jena Malone). Meanwhile, Melissa Leo is the frontrunner to play Mags, another veteran tribute who is very elderly, and hails from the same district as Finnick Odair, one of the more important new characters, who is also a fan favorite. Speaking of which though other names have been mentioned, Snow White and the Huntsman star Sam Claflin is apparently the top choice for the trident-wielding tribute who becomes a key player in the games alongside Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). These roles aren't official yet, and they're merely the top choices at this point but I'd expect official casting at any moment as the film is supposed to begin filming in September.

And while The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is preparing to shoot, Lionsgate/Summit is already looking ahead to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II, both of which are getting November releases in 2014 and 2015. With such a tight release schedule, it doesn't sound like Francis Lawrence will be able to direct the finale. IndieWire says the hunt is already on to find a director to take on both of the films for the adaptation of the third book, which will likely be shot back-to-back. Maybe this is where Alfonso Cuaron can step in as director? That would be great. Either way, there's a lot of action surrounding this big franchise so stay tuned for more updates.

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  • DAVIDPD
    Tony Shaloub!!! Mr. MONK! Please let that happen. He was so good in SPY KIDS.
  • Sugar_Spice
    I can so see Tony Shaloub as Beetee!
  • fem!anon
    EXTREMELY nervous about Claflin as Finnick; however, despite who's cast, NOBODY in this crazy fandom is going to be pleased. And I'm pretty sure Mags is like... 70-80 years old. Melissa Leo though. I love her <3____<3 Prosthetics mayhaps? :/
    • Emma
      Potentially she could be considered pretty old for that universe...I can't see too many people surviving to be 80, especially if they already survived a round in the arena. (Although I agree, I also pictured a much older woman for Mags.) Melissa Leo's amazing, though, I can totally see her pulling it off.
    • Teacherkid
      They could be plastering Leo with makeup because they couldn't actually get someone old enough to play her, knowing all of the things she'd have to "endure" on the island. I love Leo, I think she could definitely pull it off! Bust out that hair dye.
  • Akirakorn
    Love Shaloub, but I always pictured Dysart from No Escape as Beetee. Or the old man in the oil tanker in Waterworld. Maybe it's just the coke-bottle glasses. Agree with fema!anon, Melissa Leo (great actress) is too young and too tall to play little old mags, considering she's depicted as tiny and frail and Ms Leo is anything but. VERY MINOR SPOILER ALERT! I just don't see anyone, let alone this Claffin kid, carrying around Melissa Leo on his back like a sack of potatoes all the time. One of the best parts of Catching Fire is the relationship between Finnick and Mags; physically, mentally, and emotionally. I'd go into detail but I don't want spoil such a good subplot.

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