CouldÂ ”fire be catching” finally now that Philip Seymour HoffmanÂ and Amanda PlummerÂ have joined the cast of Catching Fire? A new report from VarietyÂ identifies three frontrunners for major victor roles in the second Hunger GamesÂ movie: Sam ClaflinÂ as Finnick Odair, Melissa LeoÂ playing Mags, and Tony ShalhoubÂ as Beetee.
Of course, this intel comes from anonymous sources, and hasn’t been confirmed by Lionsgate. So for now, we’re living in an alternate universe where these three could round out the major Quarter Quell tributes. You know, in the same universe where Jena MaloneÂ – who’s apparently been sitting on her offer for two weeks now — is Johanna Mason.
But let’s run with it until we hear otherwise! Actually, it sounds as if the Melissa Leo rumor died before it even began. That’s a shame. She’s a fantastic actress, and I have the same opinion regarding her joining the cast that I do about Jenaâ€”if it has to be a white actress, I’d like to see her in the role.
Now, on to the men. Tony ShalhoubÂ would be perfect to play Beetee, the awkward victor nicknamed “Volts” by Johanna due to his affinity for electronics. It’s his ability to manipulate the Arena’s force field that proves a literal lifesaver in the Quarter Quell. With some actors, their prior roles actually strengthen their transition to entirely different roles, like when Bryan CranstonÂ went from henpecked husband to Walter White. In other cases, however, you just want to see an actor play the same comedic timing and pathos in multiple roles, and that’s how I feel about Tony Shalhoub. I grew up knowing the man on Monk, so I can already envision him as Beetee.
And now, the big kahuna: Sam Claflin playing Finnick. I actually got the chance to interview Sam for Snow White and the HuntsmanÂ a few months ago. He was just lovely, and very down-to-earth when he told stories of his bromance with Chris HemsworthÂ and how he fell off his horse in a key scene. He’s one of those actors where I wouldn’t have put him forward, but once his name was brought up, I thought, “Naturally.” He’s got just enough of the good looks to play the more smarmy parts of Catching Fire, but I also believe he can bring it where it counts, namely the Annie Cresta scene.
We’ll keep you posted, just as we’re refreshing CatchingFireCasting.com every few minutes. In the meantime, tell us in the commentsâ€”would you welcome Sam as Finnick?