Lionsgate, the studio which distributes the “Hunger Games” movies, has issued a statement in response to the death of Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hoffman, who was found dead in his New York City apartment as the result of an apparent drug overdose, played the character Plutarch Heavensbee in the studio’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” and was reprising that role in the upcoming two-part adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ “Mockingjay.” The studio’s press release says:
"Philip Seymour Hoffman was a singular talent and one of the most gifted actors of our generation. 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.”
In a separate release, the following is attributed to author Collins, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I & Part II” director Francis Lawrence, producers Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik, and co-star Jennifer Lawrence: "Words cannot convey the devastating loss we are all feeling right now. Philip was a wonderful person and an exceptional talent, and our hearts are breaking. Our deepest thoughts and condolences go out to his family."
Hoffman, a veteran of television, feature films and theater, won an Academy Award for his riveting portrayal of Truman Capote in the film "Capote." He had also appeared in a wide variety of motion pictures including "Almost Famous," "Red Dragon," "Doubt," "Mission Impossible: III," "Charlie Wilson's War," "The Ides of March," "The Master," "Moneyball" and "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." He was nominated for Academy Awards for his roles in "Doubt," "Charlie Wilson's War" and "The Master." He had been nominated for Tony awards three times, for his roles in 2012's revival of "Death of a Salesman," the 2003 revival of "Long Day's Journey into Night" and "True West" in 2000.
Hoffman is believed to have substantially finished his work on “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I,” and to have had perhaps 7 shooting days left on “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II.” His tragic death is not expected to affect the movies’ release dates of November 21, 2014, and November 20, 2015, respectively.