‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ Director Didn’t Use CGI for Philip Seymour Hoffman Scenes

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1

We’ll be seeing less of Philip Seymour Hoffman in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” films than initially expected as director Francis Lawrence has revealed that he didn’t utilize CGI to finish Hoffman’s remaining scenes.

Hoffman had almost completed his turn as Plutarch Heavensbee for the final two installments of the “Hunger Games” franchise, “Mockingjay – Part 1” and “Mockingjay – Part 2,” when he died on February 2 from mixed drug intoxication. Lawrence said that the creative team shied away from using “digital trickery” to replace Hoffman.

Lawrence talked to HuffPost Live about rewriting the script after production resumed on “Mockingjay” following the actor’s untimely death.

“He had two scenes with dialogue that were left and we decided we didn’t want to try any kind of digital trickery with him, so we rewrote his scenes and gave his dialogue to other actors,” he said. “So there was one scene from ‘Part 1’ and one scene from ‘Part 2,’ so we shot both movies back to back.”

Lawrence said it would have been disastrous to use technology to recreate such a talented actor’s performance.

“He was one of the greatest actors, I think, of all time and I just think to try to fake a Philip Seymour Hoffman performance would have been catastrophic and I would never want to do that,” Lawrence said. “I just think this was the best way to be able to get around such a horrible thing.”

“Mockingjay – Part 1” opens in theaters next weekend.

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  1. Richard Rico says:

    Almost the end of the movie…close up on Hoffman’s face as he smirks looked CGI to me.

  2. DanZee says:

    That’s the whole story? They just rewrote the script? Duh.

  3. I have to say his death was quite a shock. I am pleased to see that in Hunger Games they respected his talent!


    Too bad CGI wasn’t used to replace expert, gifted puppetry in iconic films like Star Wars. CGI takes the craft out of craftsmanship. But then again… I’m biased.
    Lead puppeteer on the cult film TEAM AMERICA WORLD POLICE. FYEA!
    Scott Land

    • ALAN SMITHEE says:


  5. CGI wouldn’t fool anyone. I remember when the film producer try to used an double to finished the film and I remember the reading how people was counting which scene the original actor and which was the double playing the role.

  6. kim says:

    I just saw Mockingjay part one, by far the best thus far. I’m not sure I buy their reason for not using CGI, probably too costly when it was easier to rewrite. Who knows…. anyway, can’t wait for part two, the end of this trilogy was tremendous.

  7. Nate says:

    One of the greatest actors of all time…? I’m sorry, but I think that’s quite a stretch.

    • Charlie says:

      He only won an Oscar for best actor.. There have been 86 winners since 1927. Sounds like one of the Greatest to me.

      • One of the greatest Academy Award winners of all time then. Actors have been around for more than just the last 100 years. In addition, many amazing actors never achieve success and visibility. That’s not about talent. That’s about being in successful commercial vehicles and or having a handful of influential producers hire you. It’s capturing lightening in the bottle. There are amazing actors in repertory theatre. In Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, etc. So I agree with OP. Anyone who says “greatest of all time” regarding something as subjective as art is not choosing their words carefully.

    • John R Schuh says:

      Outstanding actor, but you are correct.

  8. R. Katie Kane says:

    I’m glad to hear the crew for “Mockingjay” didn’t make the command decision to dishonor Phillip’s memory by turning to CGI. I agree, faking his performance would have been tragic, just as the loss of this talented actor was. Kudos to whomever made that judgement call!

  9. I am glad that the producer didn’t used cgi trick for the late Philip Seymour Hoffman Scene. I hope that the film honor him in some kind of way. Good luck to the future .

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