Mockingjay Film Cast: District Thirteen’s Where, When and Who

Philip Messina isn’t cutting corners in the Hunger Games movies. The production designer was in charge of the look and feel of the movies, working directly with directors of both Hunger Games and then Catching Fire. He talked a little about the location and filming in North Carolina for the forest Hunger Games arena. He’d built fake trees and fake limbs to increase the density of the forest, and took over two months to build the Cornucopia.

on the set

The second novel moves around the districts and into the tropical jungle arena, now being filmed in Hawaii. So what will the man-made underground fortress of District Thirteen look like? The bottom line for Messina is to go for accuracy. Unlike the vaguely described districts, District Thirteen is rich in detail with plenty to work with. Will it be like an old military bunker? The inside of an alien spaceship? Messina has created some truly ingenious settings, such as the elaborate layouts so crucial in Ocean’s Eleven.

Along with the setting come the people of District Thirteen who we both love and hate. High on the list of who’ll-play-it is Boggs, who Katniss initially thinks of as Coin’s robot but who she later warms up to. After he saves her from an awkward conversation, Katniss thinks, “I decide to go ahead and like Boggs.” Honorable mention goes to Sean Bean, who played Boromir in Lord of the Rings, and most recently Eddard Stark in George R. R. Martin’s TV adaptation Game of Thrones. Bean would definitely be able to play the “general in charge” with the right blend of conservative train of thought.

Or muscle bound fighters like Vin Diesel could be typecasted, to portray Boggs as the tough-as-nails soldier. Diesel could first pull off the “muscular robot that does Coin’s bidding” and go on to be the one who defies Coin’s orders in a final attempt to keep Katniss alive and kicking.

Though not part of District Thirteen, Commander Paylor will come into power at the end of the book. She starts off as the district leader working under Coin, struggling to keep her district’s head above water. At the end when Katniss assassinates Coin Paylor is chosen as the new leader, and even Plutarch Heavensbee says about possible peace afterwards, “Maybe this will be it, Katniss. The time it sticks.”

Paylor is largely open to interpretation to how she could be played. She could be a survivor from a horror movie or a warrior from a sci fi movie. Paylor only shows up for a few pages in the book, but her impact is lasting and Lionsgate Studios has proven not to cut corners when they cast the less central roles. Melissa Leo who was just passed up for Mags expressed an interest in being in any Hunger Games movie. She recently put an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress under her belt in the sports drama film The Fighter.