Sunday, December 8, 2019
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Philip Seymour Hoffman’s incomplete films

When Philip Seymour Hoffman died on Sunday, he left behind not just a rich body of work but a number of recently completed or in-progress productions, including the final two Hunger Games films.

The prospects for that latter franchise has proved to be one of the big questions about the late actor’s posthumous screen appearances; while Hoffman had completed shooting the first of those films, Mockingjay: Part 1, the second film still had shooting days remaining for Hoffman.

The actor played chief Gamesmaker Plutarch Heavensbee in the smash YA hit, appearing in the recent blockbuster The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as a man with complicated loyalties who stages the titular competition. It was unclear on Sunday how the production might work around the days of unshot pages for Hoffman’s character.

The 46-year-old actor was also set to appear in a Showtime comedy series called Happyish, which the network had recently picked up for a 10-episode order. The pilot had been filmed and the series was in the process of being written; Showtime has not yet made a determination on how the show might proceed without Hoffman.

The actor was also developing a long-gestating passion project called Ezekiel Moss that he was set to direct, based on a Black List script and containing supernatural overtones. The recent addition of Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal to the cast had given its backers hope they could attract sales and financing at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival, but a regrouping is now in order, those backers, Exclusive Media, said on Sunday.

Hoffman also starred in a pair of new films that were screened at Sundance: the John le Carre adaptation A Most Wanted Man, directed by Anton Corbijn, and God’s Pocket, a small-town absurdist dramedy directed by Mad Men star John Slattery. Both those movies are scheduled for release this year — by Lionsgate and IFC respectively — and they showed different aspects of the actor’s skills, from his role as a German intelligence agent in Wanted to a part as a morose mobster who gets in over his head in Pocket.

At Sundance, Hoffman took the stage after the Pocket screening and described why he signed on to Slattery’s film. Describing the indie film under Slattery’s hand as a “passion train,” he said of the experience that “you show up [to set] and you’re exposed and vulnerable. And John let that happen.”