'Hunger Games' Sequel Casting Rumors Heat Up With Amazing New Gamemaker Pick

Okay, Hunger Games fans -- the bad news is that Catching Fire won't be in theaters until November 22, 2013. The good news is that gives us, like, MONTHS of wild speculation about who's going to appear in the film.

Eventually we'll all be assaulted with the actual casting announcements, because god knows Lionsgate will surely drag that out for maximum effect, but fans are so geeked about this sequel the rumor mill has already kicked into high gear, and the latest reports (which involve Philip Seymour Hoffman!) are especially juicy.

If you've been curious about who might be appearing onscreen as Finnick Odair, Johanna Mason, or Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee, you'll be happy to know that there's PLENTY of exciting news to share on this front.

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Plutarch Heavensbee. First things first: the latest and most believable report is that Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman has been asked to play Plutarch Heavensbee. Heavensbee, as you may remember, is the new Gamemaker at the Capitol after Seneca Crane (played by the amazingly-sideburned Wes Bentley) was cruelly snuffed at the end of Hunger Games.

I REALLY hope this rumor is true, because Hoffman is not only one of my favorite actors of all time, he seems like he'd be perfect for the role. As fantastic as Stanley Tucci was in channeling that colorful Capital vibe, I think Hoffman's character could be even more mesmerizing -- especially given Heavensbee's revelations, which I won't delve into in case you STILL haven't read the books OMG GET ON THAT.

Finnick Odair. Most of the Catching Fire news to date has been focused on Finnick, with every young male actor on earth being mentioned for the role at some point, including Robert Pattinson. A "source" recently fueled major speculation behind Armie Hammer, Taylor Kitsch, and Garrett Hedlund, saying they were the top three names being considered.

Out of that list, I'd pick Taylor Kitsch, but to be honest that has less to do with my interest in seeing him in that specific movie, and more to do with my giant ridiculous Tim Riggins crush which makes me want to see him in EVERY movie (except John Carter).

Johanna Mason. Johanna is the axe-wielding District 7 victor described by Suzanne Collins as having “a wicked ability to murder.” Personally, I have a hard time picturing Emma Stone playing the part, but her name has been bandied around quite a bit, alongside Kristen Bell, Lyndsy Fonseca, Naya Rivera, Mila Kunis, and more.

I do like Emma Stone, but her shtick seems more charming/sassy than vicious/conniving. Who knows, though -- maybe this is the role that helps her shed the cutesy image?

Naturally, Lionsgate has been happily sitting back watching the rumors take shape (because hello, free marketing!). Their only announcement to date was an announcement that there would in fact be no announcements until they're ready to announce some stuff:

As with the first film, we won't be confirming, denying or commenting on any casting rumors for this title. We will announce news wide when there is official casting news to announce.

I'm guessing we'll start hearing some news sooner than later, though. Not only did the studio set quite the publicity precedent with their seemingly endless number of casting press releases for Hunger Games (did anyone else start wondering if they were going to announce the movie's official lighting grips and set caterers?), filming is scheduled to being in the fall -- Lionsgate's impressive marketing machine will surely rumble back into life any day now.

What do you think about Philip Seymour Hoffman as Gamemaker? Are there any other Catching Fire rumors that you're excited about?


Image via Amazon

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