'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire': Phillip Seymour Hoffman Joins Cast As Plutarch Heavensbee

LET THE 'GAMES' BEGIN!
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Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has accepted the role of Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,  Lionsgate confirmed Monday.

"Lionsgate and the filmmakers of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire are pleased to announce that Philip Seymour Hoffman has been cast in the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, Head Gamemaker for The Hunger Games, in the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide smash hit novel Catching Fire," the studio said in a press release.

The story was first reported Sunday by E! News, which revealed the deal was made last week, around the Fourth of July holiday.

The offer was first made on June 11, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

For those who aren't up to date on all-things Hunger Games, Plutarch Hevansbee is the Head Gamemaker in part II of the popular trilogy from author Suzanne Collins, the same position held by Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley) in the first saga.

Hoffman -- who in June won a Tony for his performance in Mike Nichols' Death of a Salesman -- is arguably best known for his Oscar-winning performance in the 2005 biopic Capote, in which he played legendary author Truman Capote.

He has also appeared in everything from The Big Lebowski, in 1998, to the 2008 adaptation of Doubt, for which he received his third Oscar nomination.

Later this year, he will re-team with Boogie Nights director Paul Thomas Anderson on The Master, opposite Joaquin Phoenix.

Hoffman is the latest casting addition to Catching Fire. Last week, it was reported that actress Jena Malone (Pride and Prejudice) is in negotiations to play Johanna Mason, one of the tributes from District 7.

Released in March 2012, The Hunger Games went on to gross over $400 million, domestically, at the box office.

Its worldwide gross currently stands at $678.3 million.

In May, it was confirmed that Francis Lawrence will direct Catching Fire. He'll take the reins from Gary Ross, who in April announced that he was leaving the trilogy, due to Catching Fire's tight production schedule.

I loved making The Hunger Games – it was the happiest experience of my professional life,” Ross said at the time. “Lionsgate was supportive of me in a manner that few directors ever experience in a franchise: they empowered me to make the film I wanted to make and backed the movie in a way that requires no explanation beyond the remarkable results. And contrary to what has been reported, negotiations with Lionsgate have not been problematic. They have also been very understanding of me through this difficult decision.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire -- which will star Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, among others -- hits theaters on Nov. 22, 2013.

The story was first reported Sunday by E! News.

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