After two months of rumor and speculation, British actor Sam Claflin has finally been officially confirmed for the role of Finnick Odair in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Claflin joins returning stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, as well as new addition Jena Malone in the second installment of the massively popular teen dystopian franchise.
Finnick was a hotly contested role, and everyone had an opinion (including us), but in the end it wasn’t up to the fans, but the filmmakers and particularly director Francis Lawrence. Claflin will now do his best to embody the charismatic, noble and broken Hunger Games victor from District 4 who becomes an invaluable ally to Lawrence’s Katniss. Will Claflin succeed? We certainly have our doubts, but are eagerly anticipating the film nonetheless. Filming begins imminently and the film is already set for a November 23, 2013 release. Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz and most of the gang from the original film will return, and other new additions include Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lynn Cohen and Meta Golding.
Claflin, while a newcomer, is already no stranger to the franchise game. He got his big break playing opposite Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”, then romancing Kristen Stewart in “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Neither really put him on the map, so will it be third time’s a charm with “Catching Fire”? Judging by how madly these fan loves their stars, we are betting on yes.