Actor's sudden death will not delay release dates of 'Mockingjay' Parts 1 and 2
With Hollywood still in shock over the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lionsgate was forced to consider how it will move forward with the industry’s most lucrative franchise. “The Hunger Games” is currently in production on its final two installments.
Hoffman, who was found dead Sunday morning in New York of an apparent drug overdose, joined the hit franchise in its most recent installment, “Catching Fire,” playing the game master Plutarch Heavensbee. That film grossed a giant $860 million at the worldwide box office.
According to Lionsgate, the majority of Hoffman’s scenes had been completed, with just seven days left to shoot on “Mockingjay — Part 2.”
Release dates (Nov. 21, 2014 and Nov. 20, 2015) for either installment will not be affected, Lionsgate said.
The “Mockingjay” shoot began in September in Atlanta and is planned to last into the spring, before shifting to Berlin and Paris for a month, ending in May. Both installments are shooting simultaneously.
Lionsgate released a statement saying, “Philip Seymour Hoffman was a singular talent and one of the most gifted actors of our generation. We’re very fortunate that he graced our ‘Hunger Games’ family. Losing him in his prime is a tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Philip’s family.”
Hoffman’s part in the last “Hunger Games” became more significant by the end of the film, though it still was a supporting role.
Hoffman’s two completed films, “A Most Wanted Man” and “God’s Pocket,” both have domestic distributors: Roadside Attractions and IFC, respectively.
“A Most Wanted Man” still is scheduled to launch in August, according to Roadside, while IFC has yet to finalize release plans for “God’s Pocket,” which the distrib just acquired at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Additionally, Hoffman was attached to direct the Prohibition era drama “Ezekiel Moss,” which Exclusive Media was set to start selling at the European Film Market in Berlin. The company released a statement saying it will not be presenting the film to buyers, “while producers explore the next steps for the film.”
By comparison, Universal, which delayed the release of “Fast and Furious 7″ following the death of Paul Walker, faced a much more daunting task given Walker’s central role in the franchise, added to the fact that much of his footage had yet to be shot. “Fast 7″ is slated to bow April 10, 2015.