Our Last Ditch Effort — An Open Letter to Francis Lawrence
If you listen to Savanna New and Adam Spunbergs’ weekly podcast, The HG Fireside Chat, you know that I am a semi regular panelist, as are Twiffidy and The Girl With the Pearl. Last night it was my turn on the show, and I announced that Shylah from Down With the Capitol and I have jointly authored a letter to Francis Lawrence about the almost all encompassing desire a large portion of The Hunger Games fandom has for Armie Hammer being cast in the role of Finnick Odair. We decided to write the letter, which you can read below, because we’d heard back from Armie’s wife that while there are many factors going into him considering the role, scheduling is the biggest one. The only person who can sway Armie at this point now is Francis Lawrence we decided. So, please if you support the idea of Armie portraying Finnick, write a comment below as this letter will hopefully be seen by him as we’re sending it off to his representation. Read on!
Dear Mr. Lawrence,
Hi there. You don’t know us, and we don’t know you- which is kind of awkward since we’re going to be in a long term relationship for the next eighteen months or so while you direct Catching Fire. See, we just got out of a really intense year long affair with another director, one who brought us Jennifer Lawrence and Woody Harrelson, and Donald Sutherland- not to mention three dozen other parts that were damn near impeccably cast. All joking aside: In most franchises casting would be just about done once you hit the second film; unfortunately for you, Gary Ross and Suzanne Collins killed three quarters of the characters in the first film. So here you are, casting another two dozen plus roles.
Rumor has it you’re off to a good start.
If the rumblings that you’re courting Philip Seymour Hoffman are to be believed (and, trust us, our little fan-girl hearts are all a flutter at this news); then you’re taking the casting process for Catching Fire just as seriously as we were all hoping you would. To get such an incredible actor for a role that, at least in the book, wasn’t very substantial is absolutely fantastic. We hope he accepts.
But we need to talk to you about Finnick, and we’ve got a lot to say on the matter, so please bear with us for a couple of pages.
We know you know who Finnick is. We know you know all about his tragic past: the horrors of his Hunger Games, the forced prostitution at the hands of the Capitol, his incredibly sweet and gentle relationship with Annie Cresta. We know you’ve got that down, and that all signs are pointing toward you making a well thought out casting choice based more on an actor’s talent and less on his abs.
We also know- or at least have heard- that you would like Armie Hammer in the role.
Francis, we like Armie too. A lot. Honestly, for a significant amount of the Hunger Games community, Armie is the clear choice, the top choice even, for the role and not because of simply the way he looks, which is almost spot-on to the way Finnick was described in the books, but because of numerous factors: One almost cosmic one being that he has a skilled hobby of tying knots just like Finnick. When most Hunger Games fans who are interested in the casting of Finnick find out that Armie has this skill, most jump on the Armie for Finnick train, because this is a skill not many people are going to come to the table with, and he comes with it, and he enjoys it. And then of course there’s the range and depth of his acting abilities which he’s already displayed in his previous work. Not only his work, actually but as himself. We know performance is key, acting ability is key, but there’s one other thing that’s key from many people’s points of views: the ability to do press, and do it well.
Armie’s incredible in interviews, this is another reason why people have gotten on the Armie for Finnick train, ‘cause as himself he’s charming, he’s intelligent, he’s funny, engaging, and attentive. There’s no doubt that Catching Fire is going to be one of the biggest films to drop November, 2013– and the thing that always goes with big movies is an insane amount of press. Armie’s your man in that category, because for the many interviews done during previous press junkets he’s participated in, he never lets up, he never seems bored, tired, annoyed, frustrated, or fed up. We know, and you know that being able to put on a good performance on set is not where the job ends, the job ends when the people who have never heard of the film see the actors promoting it on TV, in magazines, on the radio, and see something they like, hear it, whatever– but those mad bouts of press are a huge part of the job, and Armie’s really, really good at all aspects.
Which now leads us to this fact: Armie is very aware of support he has from fans, and most fans are aware that Armie is aware, and everyone just wants to know that you are aware. If, like the rumors say, you’re in the same boat as us, trying to persuade Armie to pick up a trident and join the fun; then we NEED to work together.
As fans, we can’t do a whole lot to influence Hollywood. We know that. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t tried. There’s a Facebook group showering Armie with support, and it has over a thousand members, actually to date it has 1,377, which compared to other Facebook’s dedicated to an actor getting a role in a film is huge, and it’s growing everyday. Not only have we utilized Facebook to get Armie’s attention, but we’ve also written two open letters to him- that he’s definitely read. We’ve voted for him in online polls, photoshopped images of him holding tridents, and we’ve made enough noise for the mainstream media to stop suggesting people like Alex Pettyfer in the role, and start suggesting Armie instead. But, with all of the power of the Internet we can’t influence the Catching Fire schedule; and that is what appears to be holding Armie back from taking the role.
We can’t do much about any of this, but Francis, you can.
If you want Armie to play Finnick like we want Armie to play Finnick, we need you to fight for him. Fight for him like we’ll fight for you in the coming months when the media starts with the Catching Fire coverage, and they’re not going to be nice, we know this from experiencing the coverage of The Hunger Games. Casting Armie would be a giant vote of confidence toward your dedication to this franchise– and, truthfully, we’ve come to expect our director to fight for his vision. That’s how we got Jennifer Lawrence, that’s how we got Woody Harrelson, that’s how we avoided 3D. Because, for The Hunger Games, Gary Ross fought for what he knew the material and this franchise needed to succeed, and it succeeded in spades, surpassing the artistic expectations and the financial expectations so many people had for it.
We don’t mean to compare you to Gary Ross, but he’s the only director this on going project has had, and
now you’re the man in charge, and now we need you to fight for us, because you have weapons we could
only dream of. You have the phone numbers of people who matter, the clout in Hollywood, and the ability to actually speak with Armie about the role and why you NEED him for it- why we all NEED him for it. Believe us, if we were you and had the financial backing, we’d be on a plane to New Mexico, or Colorado, or Arizona, where ever Armie is shooting The Lone Ranger currently, and we’d do our damndest to convince him to consider this role. That is how serious we are, but we can’t do that. We can only imagine that you’d go that far, but we know people have done it in the past with other people, and other roles. Push comes to shove, it would make a great story at cocktail parties, especially if he says yes.
We don’t know where you are in the casting process, but it seems like no offers have been made yet for Finnick. If it’s true that you want Armie, don’t let him slip away. Don’t let scheduling dictate this cast. We don’t want just any Finnick, we want your Finnick– the actors who when you got this job initially and started brain-storming who you could see embodying the uncast characters, if one of those people was in fact Armie like it’s grown to be for so many people, anyone less than that is not enough for this franchise. We know Nina Jacobson has stated to the LA Times that listening to the fans is all well and good, but you also have to ignore our ideas as well– but we’ll never fully believe that, because Armie is perfect for this role. There’s no doubt in our minds that he is, and if it is scheduling that’s getting in the way– in the words of Tim Gunn “make it work.” That’s all we ask, just try to make it work.
Here in the Hunger Games fan community, we do our best to fight for what’s right. Now that you’re one of us, we need you to try to fight, as well.
If you’ve made it to the end of this letter, you deserve a prize! Thank you for reading nonetheless, this letter will be up on Victor’sVillage.com where you can view comments from Hunger Games fans from all over the world regarding Armie Hammer in the role of Finnick Odair.
Best of luck,
Them There Eyes and JediShywalker
There you have it folks, our last ditch effort, comment away, please! Oh, just for kicks, we’re leaving you all with what I’m going to dub as the Armie Hammer for Finnick Odair theme song!