News Nuggets: Hoffman death leads to crucial missing scene of ‘Hunger Games’ finale

A crucial “emotional” scene in the final film of “The Hunger Games” series must now be reconceived. The tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman this weekend happened before the actor could finish his final week on the production. His character Plutarch Heavensbee had a smaller role in the recent “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” but a much more critical presence in the final two films, “Mockingjay – Part 1” and “Mockingjay – Part 2.” One major scene in the finale will now need to be handled digitally or from the perspective of other characters. Hollywood Reporter.

With the release of “The Lego Movie” this week, have we already seen the first of next year’s Oscar nominees? The 3-D adventure is already garnering excellent reviews and is expected to bring in at least $40 million its first weekend alone. Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the movie stars the voices of Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Will Forte, Morgan Freeman, Jonah Hill, Liam Neeson, Nick Offerman, and Channing Tatum. USA Today.

Tim Gray analyzes this year’s Oscar campaigning season and which contenders were active and which ones were absentees. Those heavily on the circuit include nominees Amy Adams, Barkhad Abdi, Bruce Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jonah Hill, Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey, Lupita Nyong’o. Almost invisible have been Judi Dench, Michael Fassbender, Sally Hawkins, Jennifer Lawrence, and Meryl Streep. Limited appearances have been made by Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Julia Roberts. Variety.

This year’s first Academy Awards ceremony performer is announced. Multiple Grammy winner Pharrell Williams will sing his Oscar-nominated song “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2.” No word yet on the other three nominated songs (performed by Idina Menzel, Karen O, and U2) and whether they will be on the March 2 show. USA Today.

It’s back to the 1980s for this year’s Valentine weekend. A trio of movie remakes from the Ronald Reagan decade are all going to battle against each other starting February 14. “About Last Night” stars current box office king Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, and Regina King. Action film “Robocop” is a high-tech update starring Joel Kinnaman. The hit Brooke Shields movie “Endless Love” is back with a PG-13 version featuring Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde. The Wrap.

With his job ending this week, who was the most frequent target of Jay Leno in his 22 years hosting “The Tonight Show”? A new report says that out of nearly 44,000 monologue jokes, former President Bill Clinton was the target 4,607 times. The next most jokes were for former President George W. Bush, Hilary Clinton, and Monica Lewinsky. New York Daily News.

Indie rockers Arcade Fire lead Canada’s Juno Awards with six nominations. The group dominated the ceremony two years ago with four wins. Michael Buble and Serena Ryder have five nods each. Following with four bids are Celine Dion, Drake, Hedley, and Tegan and Sara. The 2014 ceremony will be held on March 30 in Winnipeg. Global News.

Which Fox shows are the closest to being cancelled for this season? A new report moves “Almost Human” down a notch, especially since the network has not ordered new episodes of the J.J. Abrams drama. The new Greg Kinnear dramedy “Rake” did not have a good outing following its low-rated premiere, so it is most likely gone. Comedies “Dads,” “Enlisted,” “The Mindy Project,” and “Raising Hope” are also in bad positions to return. TV by the Numbers.

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