News Nuggets: ‘The Hunger Games’ secrets to filming key scenes without Philip Seymour Hoffman

Now that “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” is ready for its international release, how did they recover from the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman early this year? Director Francis Lawrence is finally opening up about the challenges they faced, especially since the actor still had key scenes to film. Lawrence says, “He had two substantial scenes left and the rest were appearances in other scenes. We had no intention of trying to fake a performance, so we rewrote those scenes to give to other actors… The rest, we just didn’t have him appear in those scenes. There’s no digital manipulation or CG fabrication of any kind.” The blockbuster sequel opens on November 21 with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, and Donald Sutherland. Cinema Blend

Mom” stars Anna Faris and Emmy winner Allison Janney are slated to host the 2015 People’s Choice Awards. The live ceremony will be on January 7 and will once again air on CBS. Nominees for Favorite TV Show are “The Big Bang Theory,” “Game of Thrones,” “NCIS,” “Once Upon a Time,” and “The Walking Dead.” TV Line

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Taylor Swift will debut her new single “Blank Space” on the 2014 American Music Awards. She is the latest performer announced for the November 23 ceremony on ABC. Pitbull hosts the event with others on the show including 5 Seconds of Summer, Iggy Azalea, Mary J. Blige, Charli XCX, Fergie, Lorde, One Direction, and Sam Smith. The Wrap

The man who has always played C-3PO says the next “Star Wars” movie will be even better than “The Empire Strikes Back.” Anthony Daniels tweeted on Sunday about “Episode VII” currently being directed by J.J. Abrams. Original cast members returning for the first time in over 30 years are Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher. That sequel will be in theaters in December, 2015. Yahoo Movies

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When Donald Trump‘s “Celebrity Apprentice” returns on January 4, viewers will see the late Joan Rivers as a special advisor. She won a previous season and came back months ago to record her new segments. Contenders this year are actors Vivica A. Fox, Gilbert Gottfried, Lorenzo Lamas, Keshia Knight Pulliam, and Ian Ziering; sports stars Jamie Anderson, Johnny Damon, Shawn Johnson, and Terrell Owens; reality stars Brandi Glanville, Kate Gosselin, Sig Hansen, and Kenya Moore; hosts Leeza Gibbons and Geraldo Rivera; and singer Kevin Jonas. USA Today

For the first time in more than a decade, Bette Midler will be going on tour. The singer announces a 22-date concert tour starting next May. It will support “It’s the Girls,” her first album since 2006. The Emmy and Grammy winner will begin the tour in Florida on May 8 and will conclude in New York on June 25. Hollywood Reporter

Comedian Kathy Griffin confirms that she has been offered Joan Rivers‘ former hosting role on “Fashion Police.” Reps at the E! Network say they are still in negotiations and have no formal announcement yet. The show has been on hiatus since Rivers passed away in September. Variety

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