The death of
The prolific actor had recently shot a wide variety of work that will be seen at numerous intervals between now and at least November 2015, when the fourth and final film in the "Hunger Games" series is set to hit theaters.
The actor played chief gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee in the recent Lionsgate blockbuster
The death of a star in the middle of a franchise's production schedule has been an unfortunate theme recently, with Universal Pictures recently regrouping after the death of
"Hunger Games" filmmakers and star
Hoffman's appearance in the franchise underscored his ability to work in films big and small, concentrating on character work in the former but lead performances in the latter, as lauded turns in "Capote," "The Savages," "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" and "Synecdoche, New York" demonstrate.
He had recently completed two films in that latter spirit, both of which were screened at last month's
Both those movies are scheduled for release this year — by Lionsgate and
In the well-reviewed "Wanted," which costars
And though "Pocket," based on a Peter Dexter book, received mixed reviews, Hoffman received fine notices as Mickey, a crook and outsider who's our guide to the seedy story.
Hoffman had been busy behind the camera too. The actor was developing a long-gestating passion project called "Ezekiel Moss" that he was set to direct, based on a Black List script and containing supernatural overtones. The recent addition of
But those plans are now uncertain, according to the company putting the movie together, Exclusive Media. Hoffman had previously made his directorial debut with
The actor was also set to appear in an upcoming Showtime comedy series called "Happyish," which the network had recently picked up for a 10-episode order. The pilot had been filmed, and the series was being written. Showtime has not determined how the show might proceed without Hoffman, though the pilot was complete and had been shown to critics at the recent Television Critics Assn. event to great acclaim.
Hoffman was the rare actor who could move fluidly between film and theater, and his four Oscar nominations (including one win) were matched by three Tony nominations, most recently in 2012 for his role as Willy Loman in the Mike Nichols-directed staging of
The energy and urgency of the theater animated his films roles as well. At Sundance, Hoffman took the stage after the "Pocket" screening and described why he signed on to Slattery's film. Describing the indie film under Slattery's guiding hand as a "passion train," he said of the experience that "you show up [to set] and you're exposed and vulnerable. And John let that happen."
Times staff writer Yvonne Villarreal contributed to this report.