‘Catching Fire’ producer to fans: Finnick field remains wide open


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Amid a frenzy of rumors surrounding his possible role in the next installment of ‘The Hunger Games,’ Taylor Kitsch last week told us he won’t be playing the attractive Finnick Odair in ‘Catching Fire.’

Finnick, who shows up for the first time in ‘Catching Fire,’ is described by author Suzanne Collins as a handsome 24-year-old womanizer who excels at athletic pursuits. According to E! News, other actors still up for the part include Garrett Hedlund and Armie Hammer. But a producer of the sequel says even those whispers are ‘so not true.’


“That’s the thing that’s crazy -- people are like way ahead of where we are,” Nina Jacobson told us on the red carpet at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday. “We’ve not narrowed things down by any means. It’s funny to see how things can take on a life of their own.”

But are the filmmakers taking fan input into account while seeking out their Finnick? Not entirely, says Jacobson.

“It means something that people can see [an actor] in that light, so you know [the actor] will be accepted by a lot of people, on the one hand,” she said. “On the other hand, you have to kind of ignore it. You have to just sort of act like you’re sitting in a room and you want to just pick the person who gives the best audition and looks and feels most like the part.”

Since its release in March, ‘The Hunger Games’ has collected over $645 million worldwide. The next installment is due in November 2013. ‘That’s pressure,’ Jacobson acknowledged with a smile. ‘But it’s a good kind of pressure.’


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-- Amy Kaufman