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Translating a popular book series into films can be tricky business.
Sure, it's nice to have a built-in army of fans just waiting to line up at the ticket booth, but chances are they'll expect to see every moment they imagined while reading it and be the most critical of any changes. Of course, even the most faithful adaptations invariably have to nix something.
We looked into our crystal ball and came up with five scenes in "The Hunger Games" we think may not make it onto the big screen (for better or worse). What would you think if they were cut? Do you agree?
Madge Before the Reaping
Well, we kind of already know this one's a goner. In the "Hunger Games" trailer, we saw little Prim don the Mockingjay pin at the Reaping and hand it over to Katniss. No Madge Undersee in sight. She didn't make the cast list either. So, this March we won't be seeing Madge in her pretty Reaping dress, annoying Katniss and making doe-eyes at Gale. It's just as well, really. Many fans agree her overall story arc was a tad anticlimactic.
Peeta Giving Haymitch a Shower
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Haymitch's insobriety is displayed enough elsewhere to justify snipping this one out. In the scene, he overdoes it with the booze (as usual), and, when he gets sick, Peeta offers to help get him cleaned up. On paper, it helped us follow Katniss' back-and-forth about Peeta's intentions, but that involved a whole lot of inner monologue. Besides, who really wants to see Haymitch puke?
Here's one that might not make it for the sake of pacing. It's when Katniss, having just been told she's as charming as a "dead slug," throws a hissy fit, breaks a bunch of dishes in her room and yells at the poor Avox (or, for the uninitiated, a person who's been punished for a crime against the Capitol, and has thus had their tongue cut out). The girl ends up helping Katniss clean the mess anyway and tells her – well, indicates – she is forgiven for not trying to save her when she had a chance. It's a nice scene, of course, but it's smack dab in the middle of some very forward-moving moments and might slow things down. Pacing-wise, it would make sense to leave this one out.
First Meal in the Arena
Much as we'd love to see Katniss catch and cook her first gamey meal in the Arena, there's a chance the movie might skip it and move on to her thirsty search for a water source just to keep the intensity rolling. There'll be lots of Katniss hunting to make up for it elsewhere, so it wouldn't be a terrible loss to the story for this moment to get the ax.
Some of the Cave
The first cave scene in "The Hunger Games" lasted for 20-some-odd pages. To put that in perspective, Rue's (spoiler alert!) death and semi-funeral got less than 10. So, it's pretty long. That works for the book, but with the movie, it'll probably be trimmed down a bit … especially if, as has been hinted, they show Gale's perspective throughout the Games. We predict they'll cut away when Peeta tells his first day of school story and come back just before Katniss puts him down for a little syrup-induced nap.
Amanda Bell is a young adult book-to-film enthusiast and has made a name for herself as a fan-friendly, informative and dependable source. In addition to being the District 14 columnist for NextMovie, she runs the popular Twilight Examiner column. Keep tabs on her on Twitter.