BIG news, Hunger Games fans! Lionsgate has officially announced that actor Robert Knepper has been cast in Parts 1 and 2 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay as Antonius! I know, right? So exciting, since all this time everyone's been on pins and needles to hear who will play Antonius!
Antonius being the guy with the ... um, the guy in the story who ... huh. *licks finger, pages rapidly through trilogy* Hang on a second, there never WAS an Antonius in Mockingjay, or any of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games novels for that matter.
So who the hell is this guy?
Lionsgate hasn't confirmed anything aside form the casting news yet, but it's sounding like Antonius is a brand-new character created specifically for the film franchise. Here's the announcement, released via the Hunger Games Twitter account:
I can't find any in-depth information on who Antonius is, but Deadline is saying that he's described as a minister to Donald Sutherland’s President Snow. It makes sense that he'd be a villain of some kind, given Robert Knepper's acting résumé -- he's played a number of memorable bad guys over the years, including an extremely twisted dude named T-Bag in Prison Break and a creepy carnival kingpin in Heroes.
The rumor that Antonius will be closely associated with the President also fits with the Roman names of other Capitol figureheads, like Caesar Flickerman and Coriolanus Snow.
It's interesting that the studio would choose to add an entirely new character when they've already got so much material to work with, but they do have some wiggle room given the fact that Mockingjay has been broken out into two films. For example, producer Nina Jacobsen said just last month that we can expect a "much bigger" role for rebellion leader President Coin, played by Julianne Moore. As Jacobsen explained, not only do they have the opportunity to add more scenes because of the two-part finale, but also thanks to the broader perspective:
In the book, you can only see it from Katniss’ point of view. There are a lot of scenes that Katniss wasn’t a part of that we get to see in the films.
What do you think about this new character? Do you wish they wouldn't add to/change the original story?
Image via Lionsgate