“The movie is very, very true to the book,” he assures.
Lawrence met with Suzanne Collins last spring and the two toiled over the screenplay adaptation for “Catching Fire,” including what aspects of the original material wouldn’t fit in the film.
“We made some changes to Peeta’s narrative. We manned him up a little,” the director explains. “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 doesn’t change, he’s just a different kind of character.”
One modification they chose involves one of the leading men, Peeta Mellark. In the book, when the Tributes arrive in the Arena, Peeta is unable to leave his pedestal as the others dive into the water. “The option is for either me drowning or sitting there like a cat batting my paw into the water,” says Josh Hutcherson with a laugh. “Either way the visual is horrible.” To solve this dilemma, Movie Peeta is perfectly capable of paddling to shore.
Another book detail that didn’t make the cut is characters Bonnie and Twill, District 8 runaways who tell Katniss about the revolution brewing against the Capitol as well as the existence of District 13, supposedly in ruins. The “Catching Fire” screenplay explores a different route of introducing District 13 and the rebellion.
“That’s fun,” says Lawrence, “figuring out new ways around things and new ways of doing things.”
Another character we won’t get to see if Darius, a peacekeeper in District 12 who tried to intervene during Gale’s whipping and was punished by being turned into an Avox. But there was no absence of remorse from the ones in charge of making these variations.
“It’s as agonizing for us to lose things from the book as it is for a fan,” says Nina Jacobson, the producer. “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.”
What do you think of these changes? How do you think they will affect the quality or clarity of the movie? Or, are you on the fence until you actually see the modifications they made? Tell us in comments!