Taylor Kitsch to Play Finnick in 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'?

The Battleship star shoots down rumors that he'll play the charismatic (and barely clothed) Finnick Odair in the Hunger Games sequel

Taylor Kitsch may be hot, but he's not Catching Fire.The Battleship star, 31, was rumored to be a top contender for the coveted role of Finnick Odair in the Hunger Games sequel. Kitsch, however, says that the gossip columns are just blowing smoke.

"Not going to happen," Kitsch, 31, wrote in an email to the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday.

Earlier in the week, an E! News report claimed that Catching Fire producers had narrowed their Finnick wishlist down to three choices: Kitsch, Armie Hammer and Garrett Hedlund. E! claimed that the studio might make its casting decision as early as this week -- and that they may yet choose to go with a complete unknown instead of an established actor.

The casting of Finnick, a gorgeous champion athlete with deep psychological scars, has been the subject of rampant fan speculation for months now. The Internet is full of casting suggestions from Hunger Games readers, including a major fan campaign on behalf of Jesse Williams from Grey's Anatomy. (Unfortunately, fan campaigns don't usually decide these things.)

Last week, Robert Pattinson shot down reports that he was up for the role.

"My agent was like, 'No"... 'No one's going to offer you that part," the Twilight star laughed at a press conference. "I was like, thanks for the reassurance."

It's probably just as well. Even though Twihards would have gone gaga for Pattinson's Finnick, the character will have to spend most of his onscreen time shirtless -- and Pattinson has never been comfortable flaunting his body. Garrett Hedlund, for one, does not seem to have that problem.

Lionsgate, the studio behind The Hunger Games, has refused to confirm or deny any casting rumors. Oh the suspense!

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