Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has joined the cast of "The Hunger Games" sequel "Catching Fire" as head gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee, according to Lionsgate, the studio behind the movies.
Hoffman will play the sly orchestrator of the 75th annual Hunger Games, replacing the previous gamemaker, Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley), who met an early demise after allowing heroine Katniss Everdeen to manipulate the previous games.
Hoffman will enter the fictional world of Panem, playing opposite "Hunger Games" cast members Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson. The sequel is being directed by Francis Lawrence ("Water for Elephants"), who took over for Gary Ross this year.
According to Lionsgate, "Catching Fire" tracks Everdeen's journey as she returns home to District 12 after winning the 74th Hunger Games along with her fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. The two must now embark on a victory tour across the districts, where rebellion is beginning to simmer.
Production on the movie is set to begin this fall with the studio already locked into Nov. 22, 2013, as its release date.
Most recently, Hoffman completed a Broadway run of "Death of a Salesman,"for which he was nominated for a Tony for his role as Willy Loman. He will be seen later this year in Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master,"opposite Joaquin Phoenix, and in the indie drama "A Late Quartet" with Catherine Keener and Christopher Walken.
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