Variety is reporting now that Melissa Leo isn't getting the Mags role, but that Claflin and Shalhoub are still in the mix to join the film. *
Obviously, being a mostly forgotten piece of two highly successful movies has paid off for Sam Claflin. Don't recognize the name? Don't worry about it. He played that guy who fell in love with a mermaid in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and most recently was the boring leg of a love triangle in Snow White and the Huntsman. Somehow he must have made an impression on somebody, because he may be about to join yet another blockbuster franchise that may be getting a serious talent boost.
Variety reports that Clafin, Oscar winner Melissa Leo(Frozen River), and Emmy winner Tony Shalhoub(Monk) are the frontrunners to join The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire. According to sources, Clafin is Lionsgate's choice to take on the coveted Finnick Odair role, one that has had names like Taylor Kitsch, Robert Pattinson, and more mentioned for it. Melissa Leo would play Mags, the oldest Tribute in the 75th Hunger Games, and Finnick's former mentor. She's 84 years old in the book, so obviously they'd be de-aging her a little bit here. Shalhoub would take on the role of Beetee, who as we just mentioned a little while ago, is a genius and close confidante of the tribute known as Wiress. Nicknamed "Volts", he is a scientist specializing in electricity who becomes a crucial figure in this story and the next.
Also, it appears Lionsgate is getting the ball rolling in the search director search for Mockingjay, the the third film in the franchise. That sounds like Francis Lawrence is only tackling this installment, and somebody new will come in for the final chapter, which we know has been split into two flicks. I'm sure Lionsgate wants to avoid the mad scramble they experienced after Gary Ross departed, and the best way to do that is to start looking at candidates now.