One of the biggest problems with adapting popular books into big-screen blockbusters is that — unfortunately — not everything can make it from the page to the screen. And sometimes, big facts and events must be changed in order to make the movie work, much to the chagrin of die-hard fans. So if you are looking forward to seeing “The Hunger Games” sequel, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” be prepared to see three major deviations from the novel when it hits theaters November 22.
Now, before you commence freaking out over what might not make it into the film, here’s a fact to make you feel more at ease: director Frances Lawrence worked with author Suzanne Collins when he planned out the sequel. “The movie is very, very true to the book,” Lawrence says in an interview with EW. But three major changes you can expect to see in the movie are:
1. Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) can swim.
“We made some changes to Peeta’s narrative,” Lawrence says. “We manned him up a little. And by the way, it didn’t take a lot: just little choices to make here and there. The story doesn’t really change, his relationship with Katniss [Jennifer Lawrence] doesn’t change, he’s just a different kind of character.” So when [SPOILER ALERT] the Hunger Games takes place in an arena surrounded by water, Peeta doesn’t need the help of other tributes to make it off his pedestal and to the beach. “The option is for either me drowning or sitting there like a cat batting my paw into the water,” Hutcherson says. “Either way the visual is horrible.” This means the entire beginning of the Games will be different.
2. Bonnie and Twill don’t exist.
When Katniss is out hunting past the electric fence, she meets District 8 refugees who are on the run, searching for the mythological revolution community of District 13. Bonnie and Twill are the first people to reveal to Katniss that District 13 might exist, and that Katniss accidentally sparked a nationwide rebellion. Without Bonnie and Twill, Katniss will learn about both District 13 and the rebellion another way. “That’s fun,” Lawrence says, “figuring out new ways around things and new ways of doing things.”
3. Darius the Peacekeeper doesn’t exist.
Darius is District 12?s youngest peacekeeper, and tries to help out Gale (Liam Hemsworth) during his public whipping. Unfortunately for Darius, trying to help actually gets him in trouble, and he pays for it in a horrifying way. “It’s as agonizing for us to lose things from the book as it is for a fan,” producer Nina Jacobson says. “I want every single thing in there. But you know what? If you have to give up something in order to give more time to Katniss and Gale or to Effie as she starts to feel a conscience, you make the sacrifices in order to serve the characters and themes that are more essential.”
How do you feel about these changes from the book to the movie? Are you glad for the emissions, since it will give more screen time to our favorite characters, or do you wish the movie would follow the book to a tee?
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” premieres on Nov. 22, 2013.