Sanders poses with cast members Kristen Stewart and Sam Claflin, and producer Joe Roth at an industry screening of "Snow White and the Huntsman" at the Mann Village theatre in Westwood (Photo : Reuters)
Lionsgate has confirmed that the rising actor Sam Claflin has been cast as Finnick Odair in Catching Fire, the upcoming sequel to The Hunger Games.
Casting news for the film, which is set to release on Nov. 22, 2013 has been a source of mounting anticipation for the record-breaking franchise.
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While Claflin has been the front-runner for the role since July, rumors indicated that Armie Hammer, Garrett Hedlund, and Taylor Kitsch were also contenders for the position.
Claflin, who can be seen in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Snow White and the Huntsman, began his acting career on the TV mini-series The Pillars of the Earth.
Other new faces to the franchise are Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone, and Amanda Plummer. Hoffman will assume the role of Plutarch, Malone will be Johanna Mason, and Amanda Plummer will depict Wiress.
Director Francis Lawrence, whose past films include I am Legend and Constantine will be taking over for The Hunger Games director Gary Ross.
The original Hunger Games broke box-office records with an opening weekend profit of $152,535,747 in the US alone. With a budget of $78,000,000, the film earned more than double its cost to produce during its debut. Worldwide, the film accrued $672,826,249.
Not only was the adaptation of the popular Suzanne Collins novel a financial success, but it received a largely positive critical reception. Film review aggregate site RottenTomatoes records an 85% fresh factor for the movie, with an average of 7.3/10.
Catching Fire releases exactly three months from today.