President Snow (Donald Sutherland, left) and Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman, right) in THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE. Photo Credit: Murray Close
Little more than an hour before Super Bowl XLVIII cranked up in East Rutherford, New Jersey, emails began going out to people working on the latest Hunger Games installment “Mockingjay – Part 1” informing them with “heavy heart” that today’s shooting work would be suspended out of respect for the passing of celebrated actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who passed unexpectedly from a drug overdose this weekend.
Fan site TheHungerGamers.net reports that Lionsgate, the studio producing the film, released this statement yesterday:
“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.
For Part 2, he had about a week left of shooting, including one scene that will have to be written with a different character taking the spot of Plutarch Heavensbee.
Because most of Mr. Hoffman’s scenes were complete, director Francis Lawrence and his team are said to be confident they can complete filming without the character or the films being substantially changed.”
According to many news sources the studio has further indicated that Mr. Hoffman’s role will not require recasting the character of Plutarch Heavensbee nor will it force a production shutdown, as he only had a few scenes left to shoot. ComingSoon.net
FilmGeorgia has been told that department heads on the project have been instructed to use the day for prep and it’s expected the shooting will resume almost immediately in that long tradition of ‘the show must go on’. But this doesn’t mean that the cast and crew have forgotten working alongside Mr. Hoffman. Recall that this is the second high profile death in the last two months for featured actors working on projects in principal production here in Georgia; the last being Paul Walker – a featured actor in Fast & Furious 7.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity one person remarked “It’s going to be kind of weird when we go back… the rewrites… did you know he was scheduled to be in the first scenes of Monday’s work?“