‘Catching Fire’ Producer Denies Finnick Odair Casting Rumors

'It's funny to see how things can take on a life of their own,' producer Nina Jacobson says of speculation surrounding the role.
By Jocelyn Vena

Jennifer Lawrence in "The Hunger Games"
Photo: Lionsgate

Despite what you've heard about who is in the running to play hottie tribute Finnick Odair in the "Hunger Games" sequel, "Catching Fire," the studio hasn't yet settled on a #1 choice. That means that even as rumors continue to swirl that the part could go to Garrett Hedlund or Armie Hammer, no major decisions have been made.

"That's the thing that's crazy," producer Nina Jacobson told the Los Angeles Times about all the fuss.

"People are like way ahead of where we are. We've not narrowed things down by any means. It's funny to see how things can take on a life of their own."

Before they denied the rumors, both Taylor Kitsch and "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson had been linked to the part. And while the fan response to all the chatter has been immense, Jacobson notes that in the end it will be about who auditions best, not just who the fans want in the role.

"It means something that people can see [an actor] in that light, so you know [the actor] will be accepted by a lot of people, on the one hand," she said. But she added, "On the other hand, you have to kind of ignore it. You have to just sort of act like you're sitting in a room and you want to just pick the person who gives the best audition and looks and feels most like the part."

When MTV News caught up with several of the franchise's stars at the MTV Movie Awards last weekend, they didn't necessarily have one person they wanted to see in the part, but they did note several qualities that an actor must have in order to portray Finnick.

Josh Hutcherson explained that he must be "physically strong. I think that's a big important thing. I think somebody who's kind of similar to Peeta in the sense that he knows sort of how to work the situation a little bit. I think the physicality would be really important for Finnick because he's such an imposing character, for sure."

Elizabeth Banks emphasized a few other traits. "You know, just charisma, just a lot of charisma," she said. "And he's a looker."

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