Welcome to The Hunger Games Countdown, our resident expert's continued guide to all things Hunger Games on the way to the film's sequel, Catching Fire.
Even though day one of production is reportedly less than a week away, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire casting seems to have stalled. The announcements poured in all through August until they peaked with the big reveal that Sam Claflin is set to play Finnick Odair. Finnick and Johanna Mason (Jena Malone) were two of the bigger new roles in need of filling, but we’re still missing quite a few tributes, most notably District 3’s Beetee.
Sure, we can continue the dream casting discussion and debate what famous faces would best suit the role, but how about a certain role that--well, we don’t even know what it is! Thanks to Lionsgate’s handy Catching Fire “Meet the Cast” Facebook page (which was up months ago but mysteriously came down this morning -- perhaps for a redesign before more casting announcements?), we were all let in on a little secret – there’s a mystery character.
Warning: Mystery character discussion involves Catching Fire plot details and characters from Mockingjay. Spoilers ahead!
When last we checked, there were quite a few clues on the page that narrowed down the options, most obviously an image of a female silhouette. On the “Meet the Cast” page, almost every character goes to the Capitol at some point in the movie, which leads me to believe Madge isn’t making her big return and Annie Cresta isn’t our mystery woman, if Annie’s even in the movie at all. (I know she’s a fan favorite, but more relationships mean more story and more story either means a longer running time or certain elements not getting enough screen time.)
Alma Coin, on the other hand, could be a possibility. She’s got a big role in Mockingjay and could use a little character development in Catching Fire to ease the transition. But that begs the question, is Coin the obvious choice? Why go through the trouble of building hype around a mystery character if everyone’s just going to react by saying, “Oh, I totally saw that coming?” Hazelle Hawthorne could be a nice surprise, but she doesn’t fit the Capitol motif of the casting page – minus Gale and Prim, of course.
Call me crazy, but I’m ready to suggest that our mystery woman could be a new character entirely. It’d certainly be a bold move and I can’t even begin to imagine how the writers could squeeze someone new in in a way that would suit the source material and please the fans, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
That being said, the door is still wide open and any female character could wind up filling that figure on the casting page. Looking for a little more information to sway you one way or the other? The Hunger Games fandom is here to put their mystery character thoughts in the mix.
Lindsay of HG Girl On Fire
There has been a lot of frenzied talk among fans and fan sites about who this mystery character might be, but I hadn't devoted a whole lot of time to it myself. As casting news has trickled out, I have just been enjoying the excitement of putting actors with characters we know will be making an appearance in Catching Fire. However, after giving it some thought, I wonder if we might get an appearance at the end of the film from Coin. Introducing the leader of District 13 would be an excellent way to point the way to the third film in the series, Mockingjay, Part 1. As for casting, I can't help but think of Joan Allen for the role. She certainly has the capability of showing strength, leadership and control (consider the Bourne franchise). She's a spectacular actor who could bring even more class to a star-studded cast.
Savanna of The Hunger Games Fireside Chat
From what I've seen online, everyone seems to think the Mystery Woman is either Annie Cresta, Madge Undersee or Alma Coin. And these are all great guesses, as I think each of these characters would elicit an excited response from fans. Imagine how cool it would be for Catching Fire to end with a quick glimpse of Coin looking all authoritative in her District 13 bunker! I'd also love to see Madge reincorporated into the pin storyline (and I do think it's possible). All that being said, however, my money's on Annie. Annie is a pretty important figure in Mockingjay, so it would make sense for them to go ahead and introduce her in Catching Fire, even though we only get a brief glimpse of her in the book.
Crystal of Mockingjay.net
I’m very much convinced at this point that the Mystery Woman will mark the return of Madge Undersee. She’s the only person that I think Lionsgate has sufficient reason to hide like that. Anyone else would simply be a reveal and are too small as-is to be on the casting page. Mrs. Everdeen is a named part, presumably in all four movies, but she’s not even on the page. To me this leaves out people like Hazelle Hawthorne, Greasy Sae, Bonnie, Twill, Maysilee Donner, Alma Coin and even Annie Cresta. Because people made such a huge deal out of Madge being cut from the first movie, I think hiding her name is the perfect way to lead up to a crazy unveiling of her appearance in Catching Fire. I’ll certainly be disappointed if it’s anyone but her. (Read more of Crystal’s thoughts on the mystery woman casting right here.)
Jacqui of My Hunger Games
I’d like to think that the mystery person is Alma Coin. While we don’t meet her until Mockingjay, it would make for an interesting cliffhanger to see the woman that is essentially the linchpin to the future of Panem make an appearance. The film could end with Coin playing a crucial role in the rescue of Katniss from the Arena. As those that have read Mockingjay know, Coin presents an ever-present danger to Katniss. She is more than willing to let Katniss die once she’s fulfilled her duties as the mockingjay. An actress that could capture the very ruthlessness and duplicity of Coin would be someone like Sigourney Weaver. She manages to play women with great presence and tenacity.
Katie of The Hob
From the moment I noticed the unnamed female figure on the casting page, I had a feeling it was Annie Cresta. Even with such a small role in Catching Fire - with Mags volunteering for her in the District 4 Reaping and Finnick hearing the sound of her voice from Jabberjays in the Arena - there’s still enough for her to be in the film, even for fleeting moments. By adding Annie into the film they would be able to expand her role and possibly even set up the love story aspect before Mockingjay. At the end of the Quarter Quell, they could show the aftermath of what happens to the remaining victors and to Annie as the Capitol gets their hands on them. In all honesty, I don’t have a specific actress in mind for Annie, and I’d like to see an unknown get the role to launch her career.
Tanvi of Hunger Games Network
While earlier I hoped, like most Hunger Games fans, that the mystery character was Annie Cresta, I now believe it might be Alma Coin. Since we're seeing a franchise buildup - District 11 revolution scene, Mockingjay movie dates announced - I think they will introduce Coin in Catching Fire. Of course we can have Annie, but the addition doesn't seem particularly surprising. We can, perhaps, have a foreboding scene at the end like we did in the first movie with President Snow. I would love to see either Tilda Swinton in the role, or a done up Kate Winslet.
Who do you think the Catching Fire mystery character is? Tell us in the comments section below!
The Hunger Games Countdown runs here on Movies.com every other Wednesday. There are 442 days until the release of Catching Fire.