By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com May 28, 2012 at 12:07PM
While he hasn't yet won over all his critics (reviews for "Cosmopolis" were mostly pleasantly surprised about his performance without raving about it), you have to give it to Robert Pattinson for making smart, bold choices. The actor's mostly been tied up on the "Twilight" movies for the past few years, but now he's admirably taking some risky and diverse roles, including parts in the costume drama "Bel Ami" from theater veteran Declan Donnellan, a thriller about the hunt for Saddam Hussein entitled "Mission: Blacklist," another picture with Cronenberg, and a team-up with Guy Pearce on "The Rover," from "Animal Kingdom" director David Michod.
But rumors started to fly in the last few days, after a report from Think McFly Think, that Pattinson might have another franchise picture on the way. According to the site, Lionsgate wanted Pattinson to play Finnick Odair, one of the major additions to "Catching Fire," the upcoming sequel to megahit "The Hunger Games" (recently retitled, simply enough, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"). Odair is a former victor and fan favorite in the Games who comes across Katniss and Peeta when *spoiler* they're forced to compete against other past champions in a special edition of the games *end spoiler*. And on one hand, Pattinson would make sense in the role: he's obviously in the same demographic, and he worked with the film's director, Francis Lawrence, on last year's "Water For Elephants."
But mostly, it made no sense whatsoever. Pattinson is only just getting out of a franchise, he's shown no real inclination to play second fiddle, he's not a good match for the part, and "The Hunger Games" has already outgrossed every "Twilight" movie by at least $100 million (although it's a touch behind "New Moon" internationally). Plus, they share the same audience for the most part anyway, so Pattinson's involvement wouldn't be a particular boon to the series. And indeed, the actor has confirmed that he's had no approach from the studio, telling USA Today that "I woke up this morning and saw all these things about me being cast in 'The Hunger Games.' I was kind of curious for a second. So I called my agent. [He] was like no one's going to offer you that part. I was like, thanks for the reassurance."
So there we have it. Twihards and... whatever you call 'Hunger Games' fans won't be united. Not a surprise so much as a confirmation of what should be obvious to anyone with half a brain, but still. We hope that Think McFly Think were fooled by a convincing prankster rather than just making it up for attention, but either way, there's not gonna be any R-Patz in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." Besides, he's much too busy getting ready to star in a film about The Band...