The One Line Cut From 'Mockingjay - Part 1' That Will Be Central To 'Part 2’
Warning: spoilers for "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay" parts 1 and 2 ahead. Proceed at your own risk.
Fans of the "Hunger Games" book series will notice one change from Suzanne Collins' original novels to the screen translations that, though it's only the omission of a few select words, makes a big difference in the tone of the movie.
In Collins' book, Katniss (played by Jennifer Lawrence in the movies) is faced with a decision: whether to become the Mockingjay, the face of the rebel cause, or not. A talk with her sister, Prim, makes her realize that she can use the situation to her advantage and list conditions, demands that must be met if she's to perform the job.
This is from "Mockingjay":
But instead, Coin personally hands me the supplies, and everyone waits in silence while I sit at the table and scrawl out my list. Buttercup. Hunting. Peeta's immunity. Announced in public.
This is it. Probably my only chance to bargain. Think. What else do you want? I feel him, standing at my shoulder. Gale, I add to the list. I don't think I can do this without him.
The headache's coming on and my thoughts begin to tangle. I shut my eyes and start to recite silently.
My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. I was in the Hunger Games. I escaped. The Capitol hates me. Peeta was taken prisoner. He is alive. He is a traitor but alive. I have to keep him alive....
The list. It still seems too small. I should try to think bigger, beyond our current situation where I am of the utmost importance, to the future where I may be worth nothing. Shouldn't I be asking for more? For my family? For the remainder of my people? My skin itches with the ashes of the dead. I feel the sickening impact of the skull against my shoe. The scent of blood and roses stings my nose.
The pencil moves across the page on its own. I open my eyes and see the wobbly letters. I KILL SNOW. If he's captured, I want the privilege.
The movie, as usual, hews pretty closely to the book, but sharp-eyed viewers will notice one demand that's missing from the movie: Katniss doesn't ask to kill Snow. (In the book, rebel president Alma Coin ultimately agrees, saying she'll flip Katniss for the privilege.)
Book Katniss has a certain bloodlust, and the end prize of killing Snow is a motivation for her actions throughout both parts 1 and 2 of the "Mockingjay" movies. Without this line, once she has Peeta and the cat and Gale and the other things on her list, what's she fighting for?
At a London press day ahead of the release of "Mockingjay - Part 1," director Francis Lawrence confirmed that the omission was not simply an oversight. He used the change to help structure the two parts of the movies.
"That has to do with creating the two separate stories between part one and part two," he said, "so it was a conscious decision to take that out. But there will definitely be that line at some point in these movies."
Ooooh. Safe to say, we can't wait to watch Katniss make the decision that she wants to be the one to end it for Panem's president, and spit that line out.
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" is in theaters now. "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" is due in theaters November 20, 2015.