For mega-fans, any small difference between the Hunger Games books and movies will be a disappointment. That’s why Catching Fire director Frances Lawrence is urging that “[t]he movie is very, very true to the book.” That said, there will be several differences between the movie and the book, as outlined by Entertainment Weekly. Fair warning, there are spoilers below.
Peeta Can Swim
The Book: In Catching Fire, Peeta cannot swim. This becomes a major problem for him because the 75th Hunger Games arena has a large lake in it. Oh yeah, Peeta and Katniss have to compete again in Catching Fire, I warned you there’d be spoilers here.
The Movie: Peeta’s inability to swim is his greatest obstacle during the Hunger Games Redux. His storyline, at least within the games, will have to be altered greatly. Lawrence promises the “changes to Peeta’s narrative” will not change “his relationship with Katniss” or the overall story. Josh Hutcherson seems to be pleased with the change: “The option is for either me drowning or sitting there like a cat batting my paw into the water. Either way the visual is horrible.”
Bonnie and Twill Are Gone
The Book: Katniss is alerted to the existence of District 13, and a growing anti-Capitol sentiment, by two refugees she finds in the woods named Bonnie and Twill. Bonnie reminds her of Rue, so she tries to help her out.
The Movie: Without Bonnie and Twill, who were cut entirely from the movie, the filmmakers will have to think of a completely new way for Katniss to learn that District 13 still exists. However, Lawrence did not divulge what that will be, saying only: “That’s fun, figuring out new ways around things and new ways of doing things.”
The Book: Darius is one of Katniss’ favorite Peacekeepers whose tongue is cut out when he tries to prevent another Peacekeeper from whipping Gale. His fate is even sadder in Mockingjay.
The Movie: The character of Darius has also been cut from the movie. According the producer Nina Jacobson, it was a decision made due to time constraints. “I want every single thing in there.” Jacobson said. “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.” While it’s not a huge blow to Catching Fire (and you can see some of what that scene will look like in the teaser trailer), Darius’ ultimate fate has a big effect on Peeta in Mockingjay, so it will be interesting to see what producers do then.
With or without Bonnie, Catching Fire will hit theaters November 22. And don’t say we didn’t warn you there’d be some changes!