Now that Pattinson's out, Kitsch, Hammer and Hedlun all want to be CATCHING FIRE

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A few days ago a story started doing the rounds that Robert Pattinson would be joining Francis “I Am Legend” Lawrence’s sequel to Gary Ross’ Hunger Games, Catching Fire. All of which came as a very big shock to Pattinson himself, when he first read about it online.

So now that it’s been confirmed that the Twilight alum is in fact not tween-franchise-jumping from shiny vampires to gladiatorial kids, the question arises as to who will play the role of charming series newcomer Finnick O’dair.

Well, three names have now surfaced as being at the top of the shortlist: Taylor Kitsch (John Carter, Battleship), Arnie Hammer (The Social Network, The Lone Ranger) and Garret Hedlund (TroyTron).

(SPOILER WARNING from this point on for those who haven’t read the second novel yet)

In Catching Fire, we find that the near-suicidal antics of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) at the end of the last Hunger Games, resulting in the Capitol having to break their own rules and declare two winners, have incited the various Districts of Panem as they realize that the iron-fisted rule of President Snow is not quite as absolute as the Capitol would have them believe.

As a deterrent to the expected uprisings, a special 75th anniversary version of the Games is declared, the Third Quarter Quell. But unlike that other 75 year anniversary, this one’s theme is more shock and horror than diamond and gold. The tributes for this Games are drawn from past winners, and since Katniss is the only female winner, and Peeta and their mentor Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) are the only male winners in District 12’s history, it’s a sure bet that one of those two is going to be at our intrepid heroine’s throat pretty soon.

Joining them are winners from the other districts, ranging from young teens to ancient grandpa’s and grandmas’. Yep, grandparents. In case you haven’t noticed by now, the Capitol are kind of assholes like that. Winning the Games for District 4 back when he was 14, Finnick O’dair is the now twenty-something tribute that uses his impossibly good looks and equally (if not more) deadly skills to achieve his goals, which include an alliance with Katniss. Oh and possibly set her underpants on fire as well.

All three choices of Kitsch, Hammer and Hedlund, with their poster boy looks and teen appeal, fit the bill for O’dair perfectly. And while I’d be happy with either of them getting the nod, my money’s on Hedlund getting it. With star Jennifer Lawrence working on an incredibly tight deadline to get this done before she starts shooting the X-Men: First Class sequel, availability is going to play a big factor in the Lionsgate’s selection. Hammer’s future already seems pretty stacked, whereas Kitsch and Hedlund only have about 2 projects each on the horizon. But after back-to-back box-office duds for Kitsch, I think Hedlun may just look like the better option.

Which is kind of crappy for Kitsch, as based on the previous film’s success, there’s a fairly good chance that this one will be crushing the box-office as well, so whomever does get chosen is probably in for a very big payday.

Last Updated: May 30, 2012

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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