Two of Hollywood’s biggest, most important blockbuster franchises share something in common. Both The Hunger Games and the Fast & Furious series lost a prominent actor during the productions of their next entries. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1 lost Philip Seymour Hoffman to a drug overdose on February 2, 2014 and Fast & Furious 7 lost Paul Walker to a car crash on November 30, 2013. But while Fast & Furious decided to press on, using a complex combination of stand-ins and CG magic to finish off Walker’s scenes in a reworked script, Mockingjay director Francis Lawrence says you’ll see no such thing in his film.
“He had two scenes with dialogue that were left and we decided we didn’t want to try any digital trickery with him, so we rewrote his scenes and gave the dialogue to other actors,” he told the Huffington Post. “I just think to try to fake a Philip Seymour Hoffman performance would have been catastrophic and I would never want to do that,” Lawrence added.
Granted, Lawrence had a much easier task than James Wan and the F&F crew since Hoffman had all ready completed the bulk of the picture. When Walker perished, that left nearly half of the film unfinished, so you can’t blame either production for going the way they did. Still, this should serve as a comfort to Hoffman’s fans that no attempt at a synthetic performance was made. Every time you see his Plutarch Heavensbee on screen, it’ll be Hoffman in the flesh, playing it exactly the way he intended to.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1 comes out this Friday.