Recently, Robert Pattinson (Twilight) put rumors to rest and confirmed he would not be jumping franchises to join The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire. The role in question was that of Finnick Odair, a fellow contestant in the games of the second book from Suzanne Collins’ bestselling trilogy. It’s now looking like the frontrunners for the role may be Taylor Kitsch (Battleship), Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy) and Armie Hammer (Mirror Mirror). While the casting might seem a bit premature at the moment, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is on a bit of a short schedule owing to star Jennifer Lawrence’s prior commitments and a screen debut of November 22nd, 2013. Presumably returning for the sequel to Lionsgate’s newest moneymaker are Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz and Donald Sutherland with director Francis Lawrence. Hit the jump for more on the casting of Catching Fire.
The casting speculation comes courtesy of E! (via The Playlist), which includes Kitsch, Hedlund and Hammer as well as the consideration of an unknown in the role. Without giving any of the story away, the character of Finnick is another tribute, somewhat older than Katniss and Peeta, who is forced to participate in the games that occur in Catching Fire. Kitsch is the oldest of the bunch, followed by Hedlund and Hammer, but that has little to do with the casting. What may have more to do with the studio’s decision is whether or not Kitsch’s unfortunate 2012 box office record has poisoned their punch. Hammer, whose Mirror Mirror went quietly into the night, is on board for another franchise in The Lone Ranger opposite Johnny Depp next year, so his schedule may be prohibitive. Hedlund’s had the best year of the three by virtue of attrition, with On The Road receiving generally favorable reviews at Cannes. Whatever the choice, we should expect to hear some more concrete news in the next week or so.