Before his death, Phillip Seymour Hoffman had all but finished his role of Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1 and Part 2. However, there was a scene that was not completed, which is required in the script. So, to be able to keep Hoffman’s already-filmed portion usable, they will be creating a computer generated model of the late actor to be used in this scene.
“They seem to have plans that don’t seem very complicated [...] You can do digital things, you can have conversations where you’re not focusing on him but the people he’s talking to,” the director Francis Lawrence told The Hollywood Reporter.
“These days the technology of using someone’s likeness is a whole lot easier to do. I won’t say you could generate a Philip Seymour Hoffman with all the acting ability, but you could certainly replicate him for a shot or two,” added effects guru Rob Legato.
So, to clarify, they won’t be creating a model of Hoffman that can do all that Hoffman can do – obviously. However, they can keep the pivotal scene in the film by keeping the camera focused on others in the scene for the majority of the time, and the CGI model can be used for flashes to Plutarch. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing. Thanks to Screenrant for the tip!
The one thing I’m wondering about is how they’ll recreate his voice? Maybe they have recordings from earlier read-throughs, or extremely talented people that could create a voice that sounds like his using a computer program. I guess time will tell.