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'Hunger Games' Release Dates Won't Be Affected by Philip Seymour Hoffman Death

Yahoo Movies

'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)

Before his sudden death on Sunday at the age of 46, Philip Seymour Hoffman created a body of work that will earn him a permanent place among the ranks of Hollywood's all time greats. For the entertainment industry, however, his passing raised immediate questions about the projects the profilic actor has recently been involved with but which have not yet made it to the screen.

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).

[RelatedPhilip 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.

Another project Hoffman just celebrated at Sundance is "A Most Wanted Man." The late actor appears alongside Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, and Daniel Brühl in the thriller based on a John Le Carre novel about a Chechen Muslim man who must prove his innocence in the midst of the international war on terror.

Hoffman also finished filming the pilot of a television series that was just picked up by Showtime in late Jan. called "Happyish." At January's Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour, Showtime described the series as a “blistering attack on our youth-obsessed culture and a darkly comic examination of what it means to matter. Or matter not."

At TCA, Showtime President David Nevins commented on courting the Oscar winner to take his first TV series regular role. "It took us a while to get to Philip Seymour Hoffman ... totally worth it," Nevins said.

After news of Hoffman's death broke, Showtime released this statement:

Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of our generation's finest and most brilliant actors. He was also a gifted comedic talent. It was a great privilege and pleasure to work with him and we are all absolutely devastated by this sudden loss. Our thoughts go out to his family at this very difficult time.

There's no official word yet about how Showtime will handle the series, which did not yet have a premiere date and had only shot the pilot, going forward. A source close to the project tells Yahoo TV that "Happyish" was in the process of being written, but the series was not in production. The pilot for the series had been filmed, but no decisions have been made yet about the future of the series. 

Whether the network will look to recast the role and reshoot the pilot will soon be determined. "Happyish" was created and written by Shalom Auslander, who was not yet available for comment when Yahoo reached out.

Sadly, a work we will never see from Hoffman is his sophmore directorial effort: the project was just announced on Friday, with the late actor slated to direct Jake Gyllenhaal and Oscar nominee Amy Adams in a depression-era film called "Ezekiel Moss" with Gyllenhaal portraying a mysterious drifter who wanders into to the life of a widowed mother, played by Adams.  Without Hoffman in the director's chair, the status of the film and whether Adams and Gyllenhaal will stay on is not yet clear.

Additional reporting by Maggie Furlong and Dave Nemetz.

This article was originally published on Sunday, Feb. 2. It has since been updated with extra details around Hoffman's absence from the final "Hunger Games" film production. 

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