Photo Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Get excited, Hunger Games fans: The casting news on Catching Fire sure is heating up! Several attractive 20-something actors have been considered as potential candidates for the role of hunky Finnick Odair. But now the post-apocalyptic franchise has reportedly settled on Snow White and the Huntsman heartthrob Sam Claflin.
According to Zap2it, the 26-year-old British actor has landed the lucrative part, which everyone from Taylor Kitsch and Robert Pattinson to Garrett Hedlund and Armie Hammer were rumored to be contenders to play. Variety also confirmed that the handsome Brit was on the shortlist for the role, but Lionsgate has yet to officially confirm the news.
In Suzanne Collins' bestselling trilogy Finnick is described as a gorgeous former Hunger Games champion who forms an alliance with Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) in the 75th Annual Hunger Games that takes place in Catching Fire. One of the youngest Victors in the history of the Games, Finnick is a renowned ladies' man with a cocky demeanor.
In addition to his role as Kristen Stewart's potential love interest in Snow White and the Huntsman (who ultimately lost out to Chris Hemsworth's sexy character), Claflin also appeared in last summer's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and the critically acclaimed Starz mini-series The Pillars of the Earth.
With Catching Fire production scheduled to begin next month, the producers are finalizing the casting decision. Character actress Amanda Plummer has also been cast in the Hunger Games sequel as Wiress, the nervous fomer Victor from District 3 who is best known for repeating odd but important phrases like "Tick Tock" during the Games.
Tony Shalhoub and Melissa Leo are reportedly also in negotiations to play two of the other Hunger Games alums (Beetee, an electronics expert, and Mags, Finnick's older mentor) who must return to the Arena for the Quarter Quell, a special all-stars edition of the Games which pits former winners against each other. They would join Jena Malone (Johanna) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch) as the new additions to the series' acclaimed cast.