Everyone knows that when a book becomes a film, it’s nearly impossible for the movie to include every minute detail, and often, major scenes have to be cut to fit the story into the timeframe, scope, or budget of the movie.
“The Hunger Games” is no exception to that rule, but luckily, author Suzanne Collins had a hand in what did and didn’t make it into the actual movie. Producer Nina Jacobson tells EW that in fact, Collins insisted that the film not sprawl on for hours and hours, and four things in particular were sacrificed to the cutting room floor.
First of all, we won’t meet Katniss’ friend Madge Undersee in the film. In the book, Madge was introduced early as a schoolmate and pal of Katniss, the heroine. She is, in fact, the person who gives Katniss the now iconic Mockingjay pin. In the books, Katniss’ sister Prim gives her the pin. Jacobson admits that Madge was cut in order to spend more time focusing on the relationship between Katniss and Prim — without a girlfriend in the mix, Prim’s significance to Katniss’ bare life is increased.
While the Avoxes — rebels who disobeyed the capitol and have had their tongues cut out as punishment — will appear, the characters of Lavinia, Darius, and Pollox won’t be highlighted or developed as they were in the book.
Similarly, Cinna’s assistants Octavia, Flavius and Venia won’t be spotlighted much in order to give Cinna a little more time to shine. These are members of the glam squad that readies Katniss for the Games and for the media attention. “We agreed that the main thing is to establish Cinna. So we had to sort of borrow from Peter to pay Paul,” Jacobson says.
Some of the futuristic gadgetry that made the Capitol into a bit of a foreign wonderland in the book has been stripped out to keep the Capitol threatening — so it doesn’t feel like an amusement park. Jacobson tells EW that it “can’t be Whoville.”
Pick up a copy of the mag on newsstands now for more from key players in “The Hunger Games,” including information on how Jennifer Lawrence spent the last few weeks before the release, the reason Woody Harrelson initially turned down the role of Haymitch, and the vibe Taylor Swift was told to go for when recording her “Hunger Games” soundtrack contribution.