After all this time, all this hemming and hawing, tossing around names and rumor-mongering, the best the-powers-that-be at The Hunger Games: Catching Fire could come up with is casting Sam Claflin in the important role of Finnick Odair?
Seriously? We waited all this time for… Sam… Claflin?
You might remember Claflin for his small role as the replacement pretty boy when Orlando Bloom skipped The Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, or as the prince in Snow White and the Huntsman. Oh, who are we kidding — he wasn’t the least bit memorable in either role. I thought his character was weird in the pirates movie — a missionary who kinda sorta falls in love with a mermaid, and the only thing I can recall about his prince in Kristen Stewart’s movie was that he played the grown-up version of the kid who grew up with Snow.
But now Claflin is being asked to step up to the big leagues — a pivotal role in a blockbuster franchise with hundreds of millions of dollars in the balance. He whiffed with POTC:OST, so the heat is on. As the winner of the 65th Hunger Games (when he was just 14 years old), the handsome and charming Finnick is something of a Capitol Idol, adored by the ladies, and the character is a fan-favorite from the novel. He hails from District 4, where the industry is fishing, so he is an excellent swimmer and deadly with a trident!
I figure the producers wanted a handsome dude who can swim for the role, but I find Claflin to be a very dull, colorless actor. He’s one of those guys who is indistinguishable from a bunch of others, and he cannot recite dialogue believably; I don’t think he can even say his name convincingly. Perhaps the plan is for Finnick to speak less and just distract the girls with his shirtless frame.
At least the rest of the cast — including talents like Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss), Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch), Jena Malone (Johanna) and Donald Sutherland (President Snow) — will be there to carry him when the need arises.
Directed by Francis Lawrence, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will be released on Nov. 22, 2013.