After the initial shock of yesterday's devastating news that Philip Seymour Hoffman had OD'd in his Manhattan apartment, a question arose for longtime "Hunger Games" fans: How much had he filmed on the final two installments of the series?
Recently the unexpected death of Paul Walker left Universal and the creative team behind "Fast and Furious 7," originally scheduled to open this summer, scrambling. Their decision was to significantly overhaul the installment and push back the release date almost a full year. This won't be necessary for the final two parts of "The Hunger Games," "Mockingjay – Part 1" and "Mockingjay – Part 2."
According to a report in Variety, Lionsgate, the studio behind the films, confirmed that the majority of Hoffman's scenes had already been filmed, with just seven days left to shoot on the second half, "Mockingjay – Part 2." (The rest of the production will trek on, stopping in Berlin and Paris, before finishing in early summer.) This means that the release of "Mockingjay – Part 1," scheduled for November 21 of this year, and "Mockingjay – Part 2," which is on tap for November 20, 2015, will not be affected.
Additionally, Lionsgate released a statement saying, "Philip Seymour Hoffman was a singular talent and one of the most gifted actors of our generation. We're very fortunate that he graced our 'Hunger Games' family. Losing him in his prime is a tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Philip's family."
In the sci-fi series, Hoffman plays Plutarch Heavensbee, a game master for the titular games. In this past fall's "Hunger Games: Catching Fire," he seemed to be having the time of his life playing the over-the-top, scenery-chewing potential bad guy. As we noted in our retrospective, he often got the most applause and adulation for playing deeply tormented characters, but was often just as sharp (if not sharper) playing the sillier, less tormented parts. Like a character named Plutarch Heavensbee.