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The Hunger Games: The Flash's Grant Gustin Almost Played This Fan-Favorite Hero

Before he was the Fastest Man Alive, Grant Gustin was an actor hungry for the role that would take him from a memorably reprehensible "Glee" antagonist to a household name. While that role would eventually be Barry Allen in the CW "Arrow" spin-off "The Flash" (which only just wrapped up its staggering nine-season run in May of 2023), it appears he first hoped he'd ride the wave to stardom in the 2013 "Hunger Games" sequel, "Catching Fire."

According to a 2012 article written by Vulture, Gustin was at one point in consideration for the role of the seaworthy District 4 victor Finnick Odair. Of course, it would ultimately go to British actor Sam Claflin ("Daisy Jones and the Six"), who had then just burst through the blockbuster barrier with "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and the Kristen Stewart- and Chris Hemsworth-led "Snow White and the Huntsman."

Before Claflin was announced, Vulture reported that Gustin had been specifically interested in the role of Finnick prior to nabbing an audition. He confirmed his being seen for the role to The Insider, speculating, "I don't think [the producers] know what they're looking for just yet." That certainly appears to be true, as they considered several other Hollywood stars very different from Gustin, Claflin, and one another.

Taylor Kitsch and Garett Hedlund also auditioned for Finnick Odair

As "The Hunger Games" fans anxiously awaited information about the announced sequel, Finnick Odair casting rumors set the internet ablaze, not unlike the more recent speculation around which actors will comprise Marvel Studios' Fantastic Four. Several buzzy names were thrown around, including Robert Pattinson (at the time best known for "Twilight"), Armie Hammer ("The Social Network"), and Garrett Hedlund ("Tron: Legacy"), all of whom were ruled out either by the studio or the actors themselves.

However, despite a report prior to the casting process denying Hedlund specifically, he would later confirm to MTV that he was eventually contacted by the studio. "They did [approach me], but I was working on ['On the Road'] at the time," he told the outlet at TIFF in September 2012. "We shot the whole film in 23 days and I was really immersed in it. I couldn't get around [to reading the 'Hunger Games' novels]." He ultimately passed on the role.

Another star verified to be in contention for Finnick was Taylor Kitsch, a talented actor whose career could've used a box office hit at the time (in 2012, he was mostly known for "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," "Battleship," and, most damningly, "John Carter," which became one of the biggest box office bombs in film history). Though he was apparently one of the top contenders for the "Catching Fire" role, it was announced in March of 2012 that he was committed to a conflicting project — the Mark Wahlberg-starrer "Lone Survivor" (it is not known whether he was offered Finnick). All's well that ends well, as all men — Gustin and Claflin included — went on to enjoy rich careers in the entertainment industry.