‘Catching Fire’ new photos: Philip Seymour Hoffman is your new head game maker

Philip Seymour Hoffman rarely ventures into studio films that aren’t of the prestige variety.  The best actor Oscar winner for “Capote” has a glittering resume featuring modern classics such as “Boogie Nights,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Almost Famous,” among others, but his studio work? Paycheck roles in “Along Came Polly” and “Mission: Impossible III” hardly seem at home with his numerous Paul Thomas Anderson collaborations.  More recently, however, “Moneyball” and “The Ides of March” proved more challenging endeavors could work for Hoffman in the studio world. Will “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” fall into that category as well?

Surprising many observers, Hoffman jumped into the blockbuster franchise business taking the plum role of new head game master Plutarch Heavensbee in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Of course, all isn’t what it seems with Heavensbee and that may be one reason the role intrigued Hoffman enough to commit to both “Catching Fire” and its already planned follow ups “Mocking Jay, Pt. 1” and “Mockingjay Pt. 2.” Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he’s conspiring alongside recent Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence and an ensemble of acclaimed actors such as Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Jeffrey Wright, Toby Jones and Stanley Tucci.

Lionsgate had previously released an image of Hoffman as Heavensbee alongside Harrelson’s returning games mentor Haymitch Abernathy that looked like a party outtake from an old episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Friday night, fans tweeted enough times that the studio revealed another shot that turned out to be Heavensbee meeting with his boss, President Snow (Sutherland). Hardcore “Hunger Games” fans are still debating whether Hoffman comes anywhere near what they had imagined the character looked like, but something tells us Hoffman’s talent will eventually win them over.

To check out the new photo as well as three other “Catching Fire” images revealed this week, click on the photo gallery below.

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” opens nationwide on Nov. 22.