After The Hunger Games was a box office success, the sequel – now officially titled The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – was a cinematic inevitability. With a director (Francis Lawrence) and writers (Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt) officially onboard, the only big announcements left are those of casting.
Last week, the Catching Fire rumor mill indicated that Robert Pattinson was in talks to portray dreamboat veteran tribute Finnick Odair – a rumor that Pattinson has since denied. Now comes news that three actors are being sought for the role – Taylor Kitsch (Battleship), Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy), and Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger).
According to E! Online, one of these three actors is the most likely to be cast as Finnick, but Lionsgate has yet to rule out the possibility of going with an unknown, a la "Brad Pitt in Thelma & Louise" (a really odd reference - as if there hasn't been an "unknown" male actor cast in a major motion picture since 1991). The studio could make its decision as soon as this week, if E! Online's source is right.
This isn't the first time Kitsch and Hedlund's names have been mentioned on the same shortlist for potentially taking on a sought-after role (e.g. The Bourne Legacy). In fact, pretty much every time a nondescript white guy needs casting, these guys are on the shortlist – along with Ian Somerhalder and Henry Cavill, among others. Are there really no other twenty-something actors who could play Finnick? Not that each of these fellows aren't very capable actors, but surely there are hundreds of other equally capable actors out there who haven't had the chances that Kitsch, Hedlund, and Hammer have each had. Frankly, it's hard to believe that these guys would want to take part in this sort of sci-fi/genre affair and potentially typecast themselves in the process.
Kitsch, for example, has starred in both John Carter and Battleship in the last year alone. Garrett Hedlund starred in Tron: Legacy (2010) and will likely be in Tron 3, if that ever gets off the ground. And Armie Hammer, of course, is currently shooting The Lone Ranger as the titular Lone Ranger.
If I were a betting man, I'd say that the most likely outcome of all this is that the studio will end up going the unknown route – or, at the very least, they'll cast some other less known actor who has yet to take on a number of blockbuster roles like these guys already have.
What do you think, Hunger Games fans? Do you want to see either Kitsch, Hedlund, or Hammer in the role of Finnick? And if not any of these three, is there another actor you'd like to see in the role? Let us know in the comments.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is scheduled to hit theaters November 22nd, 2013.
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Source: E! Online