When adapting a beloved book like “The Hunger Games,” a filmmaker will inevitably face cuts and changes that are difficult to make. Gary Ross, however, was able to make a largely faithful adaptation without serious cuts to the main story line.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
One of the most-significant scenes invented specifically for the movie comes after Rue’s death in the arena. There’s a shot of the citizens rioting in response. Ross explained to MTV News that he added the scene to better set up the events of the sequel, “Catching Fire.”
“I thought it was important that you begin to start to make the turn into ’Catching Fire,’ that you see the seeds of the rebellion, you see what Katniss has caused,” Ross said. “It’s a change [’HG’ author] Suzanne [Collins] loves. It’s something that she’s fully embraced as well, that you begin to see the incipient beginnings of this rebellion.”
The riot scene is special for another reason, as well. It was partly shot by Ross’ friend and frequent collaborator, director Steven Soderbergh. “That riot, as you know, was shot by my friend Steven Soderbergh. He came in for a day — I shot some — but he shot a lot of that riot,” Ross said. “He did such a good job. Steven, thank you very much.”
The biggest edit from the original novel had to do with the Avox, or speechless Capitol servant, that Katniss meets. Ross admitted to MTV News that it was difficult to make that exclusion. “There’s a subplot that Suzanne goes into, which I love, which is about this girl, almost a precursor to Katniss, who was engaged in a flight toward freedom, apprehended by the Capitol, turned into an Avox,” he explained.
“It was just that there was no room for that in the storytelling, unfortunately. The William Faulkner line is, ’You have to kill your darlings.’ That was one that unfortunately fell by the wayside. I was sorry about it.”
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