'Hunger Games: Mockingjay' Will Not Recast Philip Seymour Hoffman
Yesterday, we were struck with the tragic news that Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment after an apparent drug overdose. Hollywood is still reeling from this news, but we have a couple updates regarding projects that were utilizing Hoffman's impeccable talents in the near-future. One of the most prominent questions following Hoffman's death was The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, the two-part finale in the sci-fi franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence. Hoffman became an integral part of the next two films at the conclusion of Catching Fire (we won't spoil how), so just how will this be handled?
Well, Lionsgate (via Variety) released a statement clarifying that Hoffman had already completed a majority of his scenes for both parts of the The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. There were only seven days left to shoot on the second part of the production, and it will not be necessary to recast Hoffman's role as Plutarch Heavensbee. In addition, the release dates for both parts of the film, slated for November 21st and November 20th of 2014 and 2015 respectively, will not be changed either. Lionsgate also said:
“Philip Seymour Hoffman was a singular talent and one of the most gifted actors of our generation. We’re very fortunate that he graced our ‘Hunger Games’ family. Losing him in his prime is a tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Philip’s family.”
However, the fate of another project involving Hoffman isn't so lucky. The actor was supposed to follow his directing debut Jack Goes Boating with a ghost story called Ezekiel Moss as his sophomore filmmaking effort. Just before the weekend hit, Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams had joined the film written by Keith Bunin, whose screenplay made the Black List. Exclusive Media was set to start selling the film to distributors at the European Film Market in Berlin, but they will no longer be presenting the project “while producers explore the next steps for the film.”
As for the two projects that premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival with Hoffman's talents leading the way, they will eventually be released. Roadside Attractions is still set to release Anton Corbijn's A Most Wanted Man in August, but IFC Films doesn't have a release date for John Slattery's God's Pocket, though we bet it will arrive sometime this year as well. It's truly a shame that these will be the last performances we see from Philip Seymour Hoffman, because there are dozens more he would have given.