Casting: 'Hunger Games' Finds Its Plutarch, Tom Cruise Talks 'Top Gun 2' and 'Noah' Snags Its Villain
Brace yourselves, Hunger Games fans. We’re hopping on the casting carousel once again as producers try to fill the cast on the upcoming sequel, Catching Fire.
After the flurry of rumors swirling around who might be cast as Finnick Odair, news now breaks that Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman has been offered the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, the Capitol’s new Gamemaker. As those who’ve read the book know, Heavensbee’s a far superior political strategist than his predecessor, Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley), and he plays a pivotal role in Catching Fire.
While largely a character actor, Hoffman’s no stranger to big-budget, effects-driven franchises. He played Tom Cruise’s chief nemesis in the third Mission: Impossible movie, after all. But he’s better known for his cerebral collaborations with Boogie Nights director Paul Thomas Anderson (the duo reunites later this year for The Master, a film that has Oscar buzz all over it).
So what do you think, Gamers? Is Hoffman a good choice for Heavensbee? Lionsgate had no comment on the casting rumor, though Hoffman just wrapped his commitments to the stage version of Death of a Salesman, and could be looking for a project to occupy his time. With luck, Catching Fire will be it.
Speaking of Cruise, the Mission: Impossible star was making press rounds on behalf of this weekend’s Rock of Ages musical when MTV asked him about the status of the oft-rumored Top Gun sequel. And instead of brushing them off, Cruise had this to say:
“We're working on it. We’ll see what happens, if I can figure out the script. … I want to fly those jets!"
While not quite a wholehearted confirmation, at least it wasn’t a, “Not on your life, kid.” The Top Gun sequel has been in various rumored stages of pre-production for years now, but Cruise says it’s in the works. That’s good enough for us at the moment. Listen to him tell the story himself, so you can hear his response in context.
Finally, Noah might not be as action-packed as Top Gun, but we have a feeling it will be an acting showcase for those who love to see master thespians devouring scenery.
Director Darren Aronofsky’s telling of the famous Biblical flood already has cast Russell Crowe in the lead role of the ark builder. The Black Swan director is also eyeing Emma Watson and Logan Lerman for supporting parts. Now Deadline says the film’s villain role has been offered to the great Ray Winstone, best known for playing underhand criminals in films like The Departed, Edge of Darkness and Sexy Beast.
Winstone would play a character who opposes Noah’s work. The cast is shaping up to be brilliant. Noah won’t be in theaters until 2014, but at this rate, it’s going to be worth the wait.
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.