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Philip Seymour Hoffman set for ‘Catching Fire’

Thesp to play Plutarch Heavensbee in 'Hunger Games' franchise

Philip Seymour Hoffman has been cast in Lionsgate’s “Catching Fire” as Plutarch Heavensbee, head gamemaker for the Hunger Games.

Lionsgate made the announcement Monday.

Hoffman has wrapped a Broadway run as Willy Loman in the revival of “Death of a Salesman” and will next be seen in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” and the indie film “A Late Quartet.”

Studio signed Francis Lawrence to direct “Catching Fire” in early May. Lionsgate is planning to shoot the movie starting in the fall for a release on Nov. 22, 2013. “The Hunger Games” director Gary Ross ankled the sequel on April 10, citing a “fixed and tight production schedule” as his key reason for exiting.

Fox is planning to start its “X-Men: First Class” sequel in January, with “Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence — no relation to Francis Lawrence — committed to the superhero pic.

Suzanne Collins’ “Catching Fire” story features a special edition of the Hunger Games every quarter-century in which tributes are “reaped” from the victors of past games. “Slumdog Millionaire” screenwriter Simon Beaufoy is crafting the “Fire” script.

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, and Woody Harrelson will return in their roles. The film will be produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force with producer Jon Kilik.

Lionsgate has not set the release dates for the final two films in the franchise, based on the concluding “Mockingjay” tome in Collins’ trilogy.

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