By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 17, 2012 at 5:17PM
Well, if you can't get Robert Pattinson, Taylor Kitsch, Armie Hammer or Garrett Hedlund (all rumored/denied early on) perhaps give Sam Claflin a call? Perhaps due to thankless roles (or simply just bland presence), the actor starred in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and "Snow White and the Huntsman" and made little impact. But maybe a Kitsch-ian third crack at a franchise will be the breakthrough he needs.
Variety reports that his Claf-ness is on the shortlist to play Finnick Odair in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," but given how these things work, nothing is official until Lionsgate issues a press release (like they did this morning when Amanda Plummer joined the film). Meanwhile, the bonkers cast keeps getting....bonkers-ier (patent pending on that word) as Melissa Leo and Tony Shalhoub are in the mix to play Mags and Beetee. So who are these characters with the weird names? Finnick is a fan favorite and former victor of the games who crosses paths with Katniss and Peeta during a particularly crucial moment. Mags is Finnick's mentor who takes the place of his lover in the games and becomes an ally with Katniss. Meanwhile, Beetee is an inventor nicknamed Volts because of his penchant with electricity.
But that's not all that's happening on "The Hunger Games" front. Thompson On Hollywood reveals that Summit's Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger and producers Nina Jacobson and Suzanne Collins (also author) are currently looking to lock down a director(s) for 'Mockingjay,' which as you know, has been split into two movies. So it looks like the 'Harry Potter' approach is being taken here with a different helmer for each installment, but we presume that whoever they choose for 'Mockingjay' will get both films. It is a little strange they are looking this early considering we're two full years away from it hitting theaters and production hasn't even started on 'Catching Fire,' but we suppose it's better to plan now than scramble later.
So there you go. Lots more to sort out as "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" gears up and readies for a November 22, 2013 release.