Philip Seymour Hoffman, the man who brought gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee to life in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” is dead. But what does that mean for his character? Anybody who read the books knows that Plutarch is a huge part in the portion of the book that is scripted for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Parts 1 and 2.”
Production on “Mockingjay” was nearing completion when Hoffman passed on Feb. 2 of an apparent heroin overdose. But, there was one major scene in Part 2 that he had yet to film. The question of what to do with that scene, especially since it was the only scene he hadn’t finished, had to be answered for production to continue.
This late in the game there aren’t many options for how to deal with the sudden death of an actor with a major, unfinished role.
The Hollywood Reporter suggested a solution on Feb. 3 that the New York Post confirmed on Feb. 6. Citing “sources from the flick,” the Post reported that Hoffman would be digitally recreated for the completion of “Mockingjay—Part 2.”
Recent advancements in technology and CGI have made a feat such as this possible when, just a few years ago, they would have had to replace the actor or write-off the character.
There have been mixed feelings regarding this development. A reporter from slashfilm.com claims that the “producers have decided to honor [Hoffman’s] memory” with this choice while a reporter for philly.com seems to see it as “insensitive” and just a way to keep production on schedule.
Whatever the motive however, the CGI version of Hoffman will complete “Mockingjay— Part 2” which will release, as scheduled, in November 2015. Fans will have to make the final judgment on whether or not this was the right call when the film is released.