Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Book News: Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2) Casting

This is new meme I've started consisting of recent book news.  I will try to post this every Thursday.

What I will feature?  Any kind of news, except tabloid features, regarding books, authors, publishing companies, anything related to books, and movies based on books that I find particularly engaging.  I hope you do, too! This is new so I'm working out the kinks, but I think I'll pick one big news story to focus on.  We'll see how it goes.

The Hunger Games is one of my favorite series and I thought we'd focus on casting for the second movie, Catching Fire.  If you have not read the book and/or the series and do not want to be spoiled, be careful about reading ahead!

The Hunger Games Movie Facebook Page: Catching Fire Cast

The newest name to be added to the bunch is Sam Claflin as Finnick.

Finnick is the male victor from District 4 to return to the 75th Hunger Games also known as the 3rd Quarter Quell.  He won the 65th games when he was 14 making him 24 in the Quarter Quell.  He's flirtatious but has a heart for only one girl.  Katniss was not fond of him when they first met, but after forming an alliance he gained her trust and I believe friendship.
According to Sam Claflin was born June 27, 1986 in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, UK making him 26 as of this post's publishing and English which I don't think Finnick particularly was, but no matter.  Works that he's been in that people may be familiar with are Snow White and the Huntsman and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.  He seems to be fairly new to Hollywood.

I'm not really sure how I pictured Finnick: dark hair, sort of skinny, someone who thinks he's a lady man, not unattractive but not terribly attractive.  I think Claflin can pull that off.  I've not seen his work (though I do want to see the 4th installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise) so I can't comment on his acting, but looks alone I think he'll make a good Finnick.  I'm not quite sure he's the guy I would have picked, but I'm okay with casting.

Chosen for the role of Johanna Mason is Jenna Malone.

Johanna Mason is the female victor from District 7.  Which games she came from is never mentioned.   I see her as a girl trying to play tough.  She's hardened by tragedy.  It's hard for Katniss to want to form an alliance with her, but she does, even though there are times when she thinks Johanna is out to get her.  She is left with no one in her life as the Capitol has killed all her loved ones.  Some of their tactics to get to the victors in the Quell don't work on her because of this.  She's good with an ax mostly due to coming from District 7 the lumber district.  She and Finnick were friends prior to the 3rd Quarter Quell.
I remember Jena Malone from the movie Saved.  Other pieces people may know her from are the Hatfield and McCoys miniseries that recently ran on The History Channel,  Into the Wild, Life as a House, and Stepmom. Born in 1984 she's only 1.5-2 years older than Claflin.  Their characters will be around the same age.  Johanna Mason's age was never identified, but she is noted as being one of the youngest in the Quell. I think Malone can pull of the hardness needed for Mason.  In my mind, I see it as a hardness that's easy to crack, sort of like what her character in Stepmom had.  I'm happy with this decision and can't wait to see her in the movie.

Other new actors for the second installment: Alan Ritchson as Gloss, Stephanie Leigh Shilland as Cashmere, Bruno Gunn as Brutus, Meta Golding as Enobaria, Amanda Plummer as Wiress, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, Lynn Cohen as Mags, E. Roger Mitchell as Chaff, and Maria Howell as Seeder

Not cast: Beetee, Tribute boy and girl from 5, Tribute boy and girl from 6, Slight, Woof, Cecelia, Tribute boy and girl from 10.

I think Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amanda Plummer, and Jena Malone are the most famous names of the bunch and they're not even that famous.   I like not having these huge famous names in the series.   It lets the movie be about the movie and not the actors.  The most famous names we have in the movies are Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, and Lenny Kravitz.  Famous names, celebrities, are fine, but when it's a book to film of a very popular book series it's good to let the films stand on their own, in my opinion.

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