Lionsgate Confirms Philip Seymour Hoffman As Plutarch Heavensbee! Plus: How To Bypass All Those Confusing Catching Fire Casting Rumors

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Philip Seymour Hoffman Plutarch Heavensbee official confirm Catching Fire casting rumorsOK, OK, now it's official: Our first Catching Fire cast member is Philip Seymour Hoffman! As we reported a few weeks ago, he'll be playing the new Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee, having replaced poor Seneca Crane after he got executed at the end of The Hunger Games. We haven't gotten an official statement from Philip yet, but fans are psyched that he's accepted the role. He really will be a fantastic, layered presence in this second movie, which focuses on the Capitol promoting Katniss and Peeta's fake romance, as well as the 75th Hunger Games being even deadlier than the prior year's.

I make a point of Philip's casting being official because we still aren't 100% sure if Jena Malone will be participating in the Quarter Quell as axe-wielding tribute Johanna Mason. She's been offered the role but is apparently still in talks. However, we now have a handy guide to finding out for certain who the rest of the Catching Fire cast is! Lionsgate directs us to CatchingFireCasting.com, which redirects to the official Facebook page. There you'll find a graphic, just like for the first Hunger Games films, which posts the photos of each cast member. It's how we found out about Philip, and how we'll meet the rest of our Quarter Quell victor tributes.

What perfect timing for Lionsgate to confirm the first bit of casting news! After several weeks' hiatus, I'll be back on the Hunger Games Fireside Chat podcast as a panelist. Tune in tonight at 10 p.m. EST to hear our reactions to the Plutarch casting news, our predictions for San Diego Comic-Con later this week, and a fun segment where we pick a random page from Catching Fire and talk about the scene.

Photo: Daniel Deme/WENN.com