About a week ago, as the United States prepared for one of the high holy days of American sports, the world was extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Prior to his untimely passing, the acclaimed actor was hard at work on the two-part finale of ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise, ‘Mockingjay’. In fact, he was one week away from completing all of his scenes in the movie. Now, the studio is left with the unfortunate task of figuring out how to finish the final onscreen appearances of one of the greatest performers of our generation.
Hoffman, who passed away due to an apparent drug overdose, reprised his role from ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ as head gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee. He was one week away from wrapping up his part in the remaining chapters of the film series based on Suzanne Collins’ beloved novels, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, he only had one major scene left to film. A representative from Lionsgate issued another statement regarding the loss of Hoffman:
“We’re all extraordinarily sad. But as it relates to production, it’s going to have no impact. Obviously, we’re going to have a couple of work-around issues but the movie will be creatively whole. His performances in both [remaining] movies will be up to the best of his craft. We feel it will be a good tribute to him.”
Regarding those issues, it seems like the filmmakers have opted to take the digital route to fill in the remaining blanks. A source connected to the production said that this could be done when you “have conversations where you’re not focusing on him but the people he’s talking to”. Veteran effects supervisor Rob Legato elaborated on that a bit more by sharing his expertise from working on recent Oscar nominee ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’:
“These days the technology of using someone’s likeness is a whole lot easier to do. I won’t say you could generate a Philip Seymour Hoffman with all the acting ability, but you could certainly replicate him for a shot or two.”
While I agree that it will definitely be difficult to get a signature Philip Seymour Hoffman performance out of a digital recreation, if we can get a performance from a holographic Tupac at Coachella, then we can likely get a suitable replacement for one remaining scene in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’.
What do you think about Lionsgate’s solution to replacing Philip Seymour Hoffman in his remaining scenes in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay’? Do you think that they will properly honor the fallen star? Share your thoughts in the comments below.