The movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins' post apocalyptic teenage Thunderdome saga The Hunger Games is almost here. But if you've read the books, you know that there's no way that director Gary Ross can incorporate everything from the source material. And here's what we're betting doesn't make it in.
Here's our list of 10 plot developments, characters and scenes that are possibly too expensive (or graphic) to warrant a spot on screen. Warning, massive spoilers from all three books ahead...
Freaky Citizens of the Capitol
Bruce Willis' odd futuristic robot movie Surrogates tackled the whole "in the future people will dye their skin blue, etc." trope, and the end result was a bit silly. Let's hope the Hunger Games movie learns from Surrogates' mistakes as most of the citizens of the Capitol have wildly colored skin, hair, golden face tattoos and even cat whiskers. Because we don't know how it's going to turn out, if they try to conjure up an entire Tiger woman with stripes and a tail. That being said, Effie looks amazing.
The Full-On Fire Dress
Before the official blood sport begins in the arena each tribute is subjected to pampering, feasting, interviews that are broadcast across all the districts, training and one very big parade. It's at this parade that Peeta and Katniss distinguish themselves above all the rest. Katniss' brilliant stylist Cinna (played by Lenny Kravitz) devises a "fire dress" which allows both Peeta and Katniss to be lit on fire, but not burned. Its what first turns the tide for the District 12 tributes, as they are dependent on the audience's kindness (and therefore interest) inside the area for additional food, water, medicine (in the form of a silver parachute). This is a make-or-break moment for many fans, and we're betting the movie will go for something way, way more subdued than the crazy fashion moment in the book. We just don't know if they can pull this one off on screen (same goes for the exploding wedding dress and plenty other fashion moments). Then again, if they do it will be a wondrous spectacle.
Mutations are a very big part of the horror of Panem. In fact they're used in just about every book to scare the pants of a new batch of tributes or rebels. There's evil wolf mutations, white lizard people who bite the heads off their victims and much, much more. These things not only attack the tributes but take up residence in many of Katniss' nightmares. And we're betting they'll be way less insane in the movie — because otherwise, the other worry is that they'll look too silly and lose all of their menace.
The Final Battle In Mockingjay
The very last battle in the entire series of Hunger Games books (so spoiler warning) pits the rebels against the Peacekeepers on the streets of the Capitol. The Capitol's best defense, a collection of arena "pods" that unleash flesh eating rats, waves of tar and flesh melting beams of light! It's like the games on steroids. How they will pull this off without turning it into some terrible video-game looking labyrinth? We're not sure. Chances are, the final battle will look very different on screen.
Buckets of Gore
Good heavens, this is a bloody book. Kids are impaled by spears, disintegrated by a thousands of tracker jacker stings, and multiple throats are slit. A direct interpretation of this book demands an R rating. But we highly doubt the studio will want to shut out the younger fans (and their money) for the first film or any of the sequels. It's still possible to show all of the deaths, but we worry that certain characters will get their comeuppance conveniently off camera. We demand blood!
We know it's not terribly hard to get a cat to walk around and act disinterested in Katniss, it's in their nature to make you earn their love. But Buttercup is a strange mangled little kitty. We imagine her with hairless patches, piercing yellow eyes and yet still adorable. It is going to be hard to find such a messed-up creature (that's trained) in the real world.
In the second book the "Quarter Quell" takes place on an island surrounded by a blue ocean with a pink sky. Turning an entire sky a different color would be a little costly. Our bet, they just keep it blue. This is just one example of copious odd scenery challenges we bet will go the way of the Jabberjay Bird.
Katniss Is Pretty Awful
One of the nice things about reading from the POV of Katniss is the audience gets to see what our hero is really thinking, while she puts on a performance for the cameras. Often times the hero will spit out cruel words while thinking something entirely different. While we're confident in Jennifer Lawrence's acting skills (she played a great conflicted Mystique in X-Men: First Class) we're not so sure the audience won't hate her by the second movie, if they can't clearly see the mind-games she's playing in order to stay alive. Fingers crossed the screenplay bridges this difficult gap, but please god no internal monologue.
The Toddler Massacre
Sure we could probably lump this particular scene under the "gore" category but it's such a brutal moment and absolutely imperative to the breakdown of Katniss (along with the justification of the President's murder). How the filmmakers will film a bunch of babies exploding in the streets and maintain the PG-13 rating they're gunning for is beyond us.
Katniss gets naked, a lot. When her adorable prep team aren't stripping her down to "Beauty Base Zero," she's sitting naked atop a new skin machine. Then there's Johanna Mason who loves to get naked to make Katniss uncomfortable. We highly doubt there will be full frontal in this movie, but probably a lot of exposed shoulder. Thanks for the tip, Mark Sutter.
Special thanks to Ned Ehrbar.