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Casting Watch: Who's Up for Finnick Odair in 'Catching Fire'? Only One Fits the Bill

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 30, 2012 at 6:10PM

I just fnished reading "Mockingjay," the third and final "Hunger Games" installment. Fair to say, the plot thickens and the action gets even more intense in "Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay" as Katniss Everdeen and her two rival swains Gale and Peeta go through several rings of fire.
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Catching Fire Casting

I just fnished reading "Mockingjay," the third and final "Hunger Games" installment. Fair to say, the plot thickens and the action gets even more intense in "Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay" as Katniss Everdeen and her two rival swains Gale and Peeta go through several rings of fire.

The second film "Catching Fire" sends the surviving victors of all previous Hunger Games back to fight yet again to the death. It's exciting stuff. And a key figure in this grueling arena is the riveting charismatic athlete Finnick Odair. When I heard that Rob Pattinson was up for the role--which he later denied --it threw me because he's wrong for the part. Pattinson has many virtues. But Odair needs to be a gorgeous Adonis of an athlete--as well as a good guy.

The first person who came into my head was Armie Hammer, who has acquitted himself well in all three of his films so far--"The Social Network," "J. Edgar" and "Mirror, Mirror." None of those roles were easy and he came out clean. (We'll see how he does as the straight man to Johnny Depp's Tonto in "The Lone Ranger.")

Now Hammer's name has emerged, along with Taylor Kitsch ("Battleship") and Garrett Hedlund ("Tron: Legacy"). All three could play the part, but who is the best actor? It's Hammer. But why should he play such a supporting role at this point? Exposure in two more "Hunger Games" sequels. There, I've done it. Odair survives Book Two. Hey, everybody's read these books by now. I'm a latecomer.

E-Online reports that Lionsgate will make a final decision as early as this week. UPDATE: Kitsch says he's out, too.

This article is related to: The Hunger Games, Armie Hammer, Taylor Kitsch, Garrett Hedlund, Robert Pattinson


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.