There have been a number of casting announcements regarding the final installments of The Hunger Games film series, but one today confused fans: Robert Knepper will play Antonius, a character not named in the Mockingjay book.
"As exciting as it sounds, we’re not exactly sure what to expect, considering we’ve never heard the name Antonius before," Samantha Highfill fwrote at Entertainment Weekly. Crystal over at fansite Mockingjay.net wrote: "If you’re scratching your head wondering who Antonius is, we are too! Give us your thoughts! He looks rather sinister, so maybe he’s part of the Capitol?" The Wrap eventually revealed that the character is President Snow's minister. Knepper, who appeared on Heroes and Prison Break as bad guys, is no stranger to sinister characters.
The addition of new characters—no matter how minor—makes one further wonder how the creative team is going to handle Mockingjay, which will be divided into two installments for the purpose of its book-to-film transition. Arguably the least favored of the Hunger Games books, Mockingjay poses significant challenges to filmmakers. It's a brutal book that takes warfare out of the confines of the Hunger Games' arena into the real world. Enumerating the problems for filmmakers in Slate, Erik Sofge wrote: "Imagine the Twilight series ending with all of the werewolves committing ritual suicide, or Harry Potter landing in a concentration camp for young wizards." Per Adam B. Vary of BuzzFeed, director Francis Lawrence explained that "there are some new elements to it."