‘Mockingjay’ Director Explains Why Philip Seymour Hoffman Was Not Digitally Recreated

Following the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, the Inquisitr reported that his character may be digitally recreated for his unfinished moments in parts one and two of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. However, director Francis Lawrence has stated that he did not take that route with Hoffman’s character.

During an interview with the Huffington Post, Lawrence revealed that he and the crew took some time off from filming to figure out what they were going to do with what Philip Seymour Hoffman had left.

“He had two scenes left to shoot with us with dialogue and a few other appearances and scenes with no dialogue. But it was really quite rough. We had to shut down for a while to sort of figure out what we were going to do but also to let the cast and crew deal with it emotionally before getting back into work.”

Lawrence decided it was not a good decision to go with a digital recreation of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

“He had two scenes with dialogue that were left and we decided we didn’t want to try any digital trickery with him, so we rewrote his scenes and gave his dialogue to other actors. There was once scene from part one and one scene from part two – we shot both movies back to back.”

Even though technology has improved over the years, he still didn’t think a digital recreation of Hoffman would work.

“He was one of the greatest actors, I think, of all time. And I just think to try and fake a Philip Seymour Hoffman performance would’ve been catastrophic and I would never want to do that. I just think this was the best way to get around such a horrible, horrible thing.”

Lawrence also admitted that editing the film was a challenging process, since he saw footage of Hoffman when he was not acting.

“The hardest things for me, quite honestly, are looking at the moments right before you roll and right after you roll – when you’re actually seeing him and not the character. Over time, you get used to it and you’re looking at it as part of the movie and looking at him as the character.”

Another project in which Philip Seymour Hoffman was supposed to be involved before his untimely death was the Showtime series Happyish. According to Hitfix, Hoffman had shot the unaired pilot episode with actress Kathryn Hahn. With the project getting back underway, Hahn has decided to reprise her role for the new pilot, and Steve Coogan will replace the late Hoffman.

[Image credit: Lionsgate Films via Comic Book]