Since the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman back in February, Hunger Games fans have been wondering how his role of Plutarch Heavensbee would be portrayed in the last two films. There has been talk they may superimpose him as CGI, and director Francis Lawrence is finally opening up about Hoffman’s role.
Hoffman first played the Head Gamemaker in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and completed many of his scenes for both Mockingjay — Part 1 and Mockingjay — Part 2. Lawrence did an interview with The Hunger Games Exclusive and explained Hoffman’s role, and how they would complete the films without him.
“We finished the majority of his work,” said Lawrence. “I think he might have had eight to 10 days left on our schedule.”
Although the most important parts of his role were completed, Lawrence explains they have been left with the challenge of figuring out how to put him in the necessary scenes they hadn’t yet filmed.
“In most of those scenes, Phil didn’t have any dialogue,” he explained. “We are going to put him into those scenes, but we’re only using real footage. We’re not creating anything digital or a robotic version of him.”
The Hollywood Reporter learned earlier this year that Hoffman had not yet filmed one major scene, but it’s not clear which one, or how the story will change with his death.
With the films’ need to follow the books, they have been left with the challenge of telling the story without changing the content — much. Producer Nina Jacobson explained they may also be giving lines to a different character, “but only in circumstances that we are able to do that without undermining the intent of the scene.”
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 will be in theaters Nov. 21.