So that whole thing with Robert Pattinson didn’t quite work out, so now it’s time for Lionsgate to get crankin’ with a real wish list for the role of former victor, Finnick Odair in Catching Fire. The names they’ve come up with probably won’t surprise anybody, but they come with definite pros and cons that may get the diehard fanbase up in arms.
E! has gotten wind of a few names in the mix, and they include Taylor Kitsch, Garrett Hedlund, and Armie Hammer. A decision could come as soon as this week, as the studio wants to get a jump on things before filming begins this spring. Just like the previous hit film, the schedule is going to be incredibly tight, and with a new director in Francis Lawrence coming aboard it makes sense to not have any loose ends. All three names could fit the role pretty well, although there’s still an outside chance an unknown will be cast and built into a star. There have been online petitions for Jesse Williams(The Cabin in the Woods) to take on the part, and he’d fit that criteria pretty nicely.
Kitsch will likely be the top choice amongst the Hunger Games crowd, as he’s been a favorite ever since Friday Night Lights and any time he manages to take his shirt off. The problem is that he’s been at the front of two straight failed franchise starters in Battleship and John Carter, so Lionsgate may be a little gunshy. Finnick is an important character in the next two stories, but he’s definitely on the supporting level, which may be a good place for Kitsch to be right now. He may have been thrust into leading man status a bit too quickly. Armie Hammer has capitalized about as well as anyone could expect after The Social Network. Although Mirror Mirror was a dud, it didn’t hurt his stock all that much, and he’s still set to co-star with Johnny Depp in The Lone Ranger. For that reason he’d make a lot of sense for Lionsgate who may want to capitalize on Hammer’s association with Depp. On the other hand, Hammer may not be willing to take a backseat to take a back seat to just anybody.
Hedlund may be the hardest to predict. Tron: Legacy is his biggest calling card, although he was probably the least memorable aspect of it. Ever since he’s sort of been all over the place. He turned up in Gwyneth Paltrow’s country music stinker, Country Strong. He’ll make a serious bid for credibility as part of Walter Salles’ On the Road adaptation. Warner Brothers also had him pegged for the lead in their failed live-action Akira. So studios like him, he’s recognizable, but is he charismatic enough for the part? Is he popular enough? Can they build a bigger star out of him the way they can the other two?
Basically, we don’t know anything yet except these are the names being discussed, but you can expect to hear something soon. Who do you want to see in Catching Fire? Look for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to open in Washington, DC on November 22nd 2013.