Two thesps on studio shortlist for roles in 'Hunger Games' sequel
With two blockbusters under his belt, Brit thesp Sam Claflin looks to be lining up one more, as sources tell Variety that the “Snow White and the Huntsman” star is the choice to play Finnick Odair in Lionsgate’s sequel “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”Additionally, sources say three-time Emmy winner Tony Shalhoub is the frontrunner to play Beetee. Melissa Leo had been on the shortlist to play Mags but her reps were informed Tuesday afternoon that she is not getting the part. Regardless of the status of their potential involvement, Claflin and Shalhoub are all on the studio’s shortlist for roles in the highly-anticipated sequel. Lionsgate and all of the actors’ respective reps had no comment on the casting. Finnick was the most coveted available role in the “Hunger Games” sequel, and sources tell Variety that Claflin is nearing an offer. The character, who was 14 when he was selected as a tribute, is one of the youngest to have won the Hunger Games. Katniss does not trust him at first and is hesitant to make Finnick her ally, though he proves to be valuable after he saves Peeta from drowning in the Quarter Quell. Beetee is an inventor who Johanna Mason nicknames “Volts” due to his knack for using electricity as a weapon. He’s ability to create a forcefield is crucial to the Rebels’ plan to rescue the Hunger Games tributes in the Quarter Quell. Claflin burst onto Hollywood’s radar when he scored a key supporting role alongside Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” He went on to vie for Kristen Stewart’s affections in “Snow White and the Huntsman.” He’s repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group. Shalhoub is no stranger to studio blockbusters, having appeared in two “Men in Black” films and three “Spy Kids” pics. He’s repped by ICM Partners.