The production of Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 has been in a mild state of tailspin since the sudden death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman. At the time of his death, Hoffman reportedly had completed his scenes in Mockingjay Part 1, but had one emotional scene left to shoot as Plutarch Heavensbee for Mockingjay Part 2. It was revealed a short time later that Lionsgate would digitally recreate the actor for the necessary remaining shots.
But the loss of Hoffman isn’t the only thing stirring up production on the final two films of The Hunger Games franchise. They’ve lost yet another cast member, but this one is thankfully not for tragic reasons, and they’ve found quite the perfect replacement.
Deadline is reporting that Lily Rabe has been replaced with Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie for the role of Commander Lyme. Rabe had to drop out of the project due to a scheduling conflicts with Shakespeare in the Park’s Much Ado About Nothing, for which she had already signed a contract.
Commander Lyme is a previous winner of an unspecified installment of The Hunger Games who then abandons her home in District 2 to become one of the leaders of the rebellious District 13. In Mockingjay, Lyme is described by Katniss as being over 6 feet tall and very muscular. The re-casting couldn’t be more perfect.
In Game of Thrones, Christie plays Brienne of Tarth, a powerful knight whose height and gender earn her plenty of mockery from the snide characters on the series. Christie’s physicality is not only perfect for the role of Brienne, but also makes her one of the most believable past victors of the Hunger Games that the films have cast so far.
With Christie fitting nicely into the role of Lyme, our concerns then fall back on just how Lionsgate will use a digital recreation of Hoffman to finish up the franchise. They still have time before the fourth film’s release next fall, and digital technology gets better every year, but fans of both the franchise and Hoffman’s legacy are still wary of how it will turn out.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens in theaters on November 21st, 2014, followed by Part 2 a year later on November 20th, 2015.
Follow Casey on Twitter @CaseyCip.
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