(Corrects spelling of Synecdoche in fifth paragraph.)
As Hollywood reacted to the unexpected death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, a person with knowledge of the situation said it won’t affect the release of two planned “Hunger Games” movies.
Hoffman’s work on “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1” was substantially complete and he had seven remaining days to shoot on “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2,” said the person, who asked not to be named because of the subject’s sensitivity.
The actor, who won an Academy Award for portraying writer Truman Capote, was found dead yesterday in his Manhattan apartment at the age of 46. He played the pivotal character of Plutarch Heavensbee, the head gamemaker in Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF)’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” last year, and was cast in the same role for the third and fourth films in the series, based on the books by Suzanne Collins.
“Philip Seymour Hoffman was a singular talent and one of the most gifted actors of our generation,” the studio, based in Santa Monica, California, said in a statement. “We’re very fortunate that he graced our ‘Hunger Games’ family. Losing him in his prime is a tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Philip’s family.”
Hoffman’s work ranged from 1998’s “The Big Lebowski” to “Synecdoche, New York,” to “Charlie Wilson’s War,” for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor. Robert DeNiro, George Clooney and Hoffman’s colleagues from “The Hunger Games” issued statements of sympathy.
“Words cannot convey the devastating loss we are all feeling right now,” said a statement from the “Mockingjay” cast and crew, including Collins, director Francis Lawrence, producers Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik, and star Jennifer Lawrence. “Philip was a wonderful person and an exceptional talent, and our hearts are breaking.”
The two “Mockingjay” movies are based on the third of Collins’s books. Filming began back-to-back in September, according to IMDB.com. Part 1 is scheduled for release on Nov. 21, with Part 2 coming out a year later, on Nov. 20, 2015.
The first two “Hunger Games” films generated $829.5 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales, and $1.55 billion worldwide, according to researcher Box Office Mojo.
Hoffman was found dead in the bathroom of his apartment in the West Village with a needle in his arm, according to law enforcement officials, who asked not to be identified because the investigation is in its early stages.
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