It seems like we just went through this with the death of Paul Walker, but here we are again: a massive film franchise needs to consider how to move forward following the sudden death of one of its stars.
In the wake of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death yesterday, Lionsgate released a statement praising his work and offering their condolences:
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.
Variety reports that Hoffman only had seven days left to shoot on the final Hunger Games sequel (Mockingjay Part 2), so Lionsgate won’t need to recast the role of game master Plutarch Heavensbee. Hoffman’s character was introduced in last year’s Catching Fire and by the end of the film, his character’s actions had massive repercussions that set the stage for Katniss’s final adventure. For those wondering, Hoffman’s death won’t alter the planned release dates of either sequel: Mockingjay Part 1 will hit theaters on November 21st, 2014, and Part 2 will arrive on November 20th, 2015.
I’m not a huge fan of examining the business strategies of franchises like this immediately after actors tragically die, but in this case, I thought it may help some of you who may be still reeling from Hoffman’s death to know that at least we’ll be seeing more of his work for the next couple of years. The Oscar-winning actor recently starred in two movies that played at this year’s Sundance Film Festival: God’s Pocket (read our review), and A Most Wanted Man, both of which are likely to receive theatrical releases later this year. He was taken from us too soon, but at least we’ll be able to see more of his work and appreciate new performances a few more times before we must turn to the past as our only option to view his legacy on screen.
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