By Wayne Harada
“Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” the second film in the “Hunger Games” saga, will film its final three weeks on Kauai, with Oscar-winning actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman playing Plutarch Heavensbee.
Hoffman joins Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Aberdeen and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark in the continuing story based on the popular novels by Suzanne Collins. Heavensbee takes over the Gamemaker reins earlier played by Wes Bentley. Though the Heavensbee character was absent from the first movie, he’ll return in the third and could wind up in the fourth installment as well, mixing villainy with mystery. Lionsgate, the producing company, has opted to adapt four films from three books, extending the two-part finale in the lingering tradition of franchises such as “Harry Potter” and “Twilight.”
Hoffman earned his Academy Award for his role in “Capote,” and he was a Tony Award nominee this past summer for portraying Willy Loman in the Broadway revival of “Death of a Salesman.” So he brings credibility and depth to the movie.
Hoffman’s other credits include “Magnolia,” “Mission Impossible III,” “Moneyball” and “Doubt.”
Kauai also lands a starring role, providing the arena for the survival games in the much-anticipated franchise. Precisely where filming will be done has not been announced, but the Garden Island offers wilderness landscape, ranging from jungle-like greenery to river locations, previously seen in myriad of films, including two “Jurassic Parks,” “Raiders of the Lost Arc,” “Tropic Thunder,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “The Descendants,” “Soul Surfer,” “Six Days, Seven Nights,” “South Pacific,” “King Kong,” “None But the Brave” and “Blue Hawaii.”
Filming begins this fall, with Francis Lawrence replacing Gary Ross as director.
The story finds Katniss returning home, after copping the 74th Annual Hunger Games with Peeta, launching a victor’s tour of the districts but sensing possible unrest as the nation prepares for 75th Annual Hunger Games, the Quarter Quell.
“Catching Fire” will be released Nov. 23, 2013.