The premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is still over three months away, so we'll take any info we can right now. The latest news comes straight from director Francis Lawrence, who told Entertainment Weekly about the three major differences between the Catching Fire movie and book. Don't get too concerned, The Hunger Games stood out as the rare movie adaptation where the changes actually make it better, thanks to the books' structure and heavy involvement from author Suzanne Collins. Let's tale a look at the changes fans can expect, and how they'll affect the film. Spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn't read Catching Fire.
Peeta Can Swim
Since the arena in Catching Fire's Quarter Quell Hunger Games is an island, tributes must start by swimming to the stockpile of supplies. In the book, this is a problem for Peeta, who can't swim. Lawrence told EW that "We made some changes to Peeta’s narrative ... We manned him up a little." This is good news for anyone on Team Peeta, who was hoping to see a stronger, more assertive Peeta, especially since he spent half of the first movie bleeding in a cave. Peeta really does toughen up in the second book, and it's good that the film will get that point across, even if it means teaching him to swim. There is a downside, however. In the book, Peeta was rescued by heartthrob Finnick, who swims with Peeta on his back. (That would've been interesting to see.)
No Bonnie or Twill
As the revolution in Panem grows, Katniss finds Bonnie and Twill on the run from District 8 in her father's old hunting cabin. They tell her that they are fleeing to District 13, which Katniss believed was destroyed. The two tell her of rumors and theories that it's still a functioning place, free of the Capitol's interference and the Games. This is a key piece of information, as it becomes extremely important later on and shows Katniss just how serious the rebellion is.
But it's the information that is truly important, not necessarily Bonnie or Twill. Katniss will still learn of 13, just from someone else. As long as the movie finds a way to introduce that concept that makes sense, this shouldn't be a problem. Movies have limited time, and introducing two characters we never see again just to deliver one idea wouldn't be very logical. Maybe Haymitch will hear the rumors from other mentors, or someone Katniss and Peeta meet as they travel on their victory tour.
Darius Is Gone, Too
This is probably the most disappointing change, as Darius is a compelling character who shows Katniss what lengths the Capitol will go to for complete control over the Districts. Though he starts out as a semi-pervy Peacekeeper in District 12, Darius intervenes when Gale is being whipped by a new, stricter Peacekeeper. Once she arrives in the Capitol for Games training, Katniss meets Darius again, as he has had his tongue removed and been assigned to her as a servant. Pretty messed up.
Though it would've been nice to see Darius in the films (he would've appeared or been mentioned in Mockingjay too), cuts have to be made. Since the movies tend to cut away from Katniss's perspective, there should still be plenty of opportunities to show the horrors that the Capitol has been committing since The Hunger Games.
If these are the biggest changes between the Catching Fire book and movie, fans should have nothing to worry about. There's a lot to get through from the book's 391 pages, and if these cuts help to squeeze everything else in, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire should be an excellent adaptation.
Image: Lionsgate via Screenrant