The Hunger Games was one of the biggest films of 2012 and you can bet the sequel, Catching Fire, will likewise set fans a-flame. As we are counting down to the November 22nd, 2013 release date, final casting decisions continue to pour in. The character of the hour is Beetee, a tribute from District 3. Actor Jeffrey Wright has won the role.
You heard the exciting news right here when the much-anticipated and highly coveted role of literary hottie Finnick Odair, finally went to actor Sam Claflin. In my opinion, the choice of Claflin has been the most controversial. Do you think the actor, who many have said they barely noticed opposite Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth in Snow White and the Huntsman, can pull of playing the charismatic and complex role of Finnick?
As for Jeffrey Wright, film fanatics should recognize the actor’s face. He has appeared in Source Code and Syriana and has played the character of Felix, James Bond’s American pal, in both Casino Royale and in Quantum Of Solace. Unfortunately, I haven’t noticed Wright’s name mentioned in conjunction with the new Bond film, Skyfall. That’s too bad.
In 2008 he brought to life the musician, Muddy Waters, in Cadillac Records and even has a Tony Award thanks to his work in Angels in America.
I particularly enjoyed Wright’s work in The Ides of March, where he had the chance to play a quite unlikable senator. Sometimes it’s those flawed characters that allow actors to flex even more theatrical muscle.
If you have yet to read the Suzanne Collins penned sequel to The Hunger Games, you are probably thinking Wright seems a wee bit older than your average Tribute. You’re correct. Without giving too much away, I can tell you one of the prominent features of the second installment of the Games is an event called the Quarter Quell. It occurs every 25 years and is an excuse for the Gamemakers from the Capital to be extra nasty.
Their cruelty allows Katniss and Peeta to meet former champions from the other Districts. Among these are a pair nicknamed Nuts and Volts. The real names of Nuts and Volts are Wiress and Beetee. District 3, their home, is famous for the production of electronics. Beetee is a very intelligent man whose importance continues on through the rest of the series. I think this was really stellar casting. I can picture Wright sinking his teeth into this role and disappearing into character.
Of course, most of the casting thus far has been particularly wonderful. This is what happens when a book adaptation is fortunate enough to get a team of filmmakers who genuinely care about getting things right.
What I also is love is the onslaught of “serious” actors being attached to the film. Case in point is critically acclaimed thespian, Phillip Seymour Hoffman joining the cast as Plutarch Heavensbee. Hey, how do you like that? Hoffman was also a part of the political thriller The Ides of March, opposite Wright, Ryan Gosling and George Clooney. Plutarch becomes the new Head Gamemaker after Seneca Crane, Gamemaker from the first film, is executed for being such a royal screw up. Crane was, of course, acted by actor Wes Bentley.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will be directed by Francis Lawrence. His previous films include I am Legend, starring Will Smith, and Water for Elephants, starring Robert Pattinson.