'Hunger Games' Release Dates Won't Be Affected by Philip Seymour Hoffman Death
Philip Seymour Hoffman, left, and Woody Harrelson in 'Catching Fire' (Photo: Lionsgate/courtesy Everett Collection)
First off, while Hoffman's absence will definitely be felt upon the release of the next installments of "The Hunger Games" series — the highest profile project of the actor's career — a source close to the franchise tells Yahoo Movies the two films' final release dates of this Nov. 21, and Nov. 20, 2015, respectively, will not be changed.
The Oscar-winning actor played head game maker Plutarch Heavensbee in the blockbuster book-to-movie series. The final, fourth installment of the franchise, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2," is currently filming, and Yahoo learned on Tuesday that Hoffman's role will not be recast. Filmmakers will be able to workaround his absence in spite of the fact that he had a key, emotional scene left to shoot before he died (and seven shooting days on his schedule, according to one of our sources).
[Related: Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead at 46]
Sadly, cast and crew close to Hoffman on the film sensed he was in trouble late last week, according to one of our sources. They saw him drinking publicly and observed that he did not look well. Multiple people confronted him, we're told, asking him if he was alright and whether he had relapesed. He said he was fine.
"Philip Seymour Hoffman was a singular talent and one of the most gifted actors of our generation," Lionsgate said in a statement obtained by Yahoo Movies on Sunday. "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."
[Related: Hollywood Mourns Philip Seymour Hoffman]
Another recent Hoffman project, "God's Pocket," in which he starred alongside Christina Hendricks and John Turturro, just debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. Hoffman attended the film's premiere in Park City, Utah, on Jan. 17. No general release for this film has yet been slated.