The Cutting Room Floor

After seeing the first trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, we’re all really excited at the confirmation that certain scenes made it into the movie: The District 11 man’s salute! The Katniss/Gale kiss! The whipping!

Potentially a 7 hour movie!

Potentially a 7 hour movie! ..We’d watch it.

Even though it’s just the tip of the Catching Fire iceberg (…Fire iceberg?! Whaaaaat?), the trailer also helped us come to terms with some things that were cut. When you see the man from District 11 being murdered, are Bonnie and Twill’s open-ended deaths in the woods still a huge deal? Is the brutality against Darius necessary to portray when you see the Peacekeepers being equally brutal with Gale or the rioters?

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: IT’S A MOVIE. Things will change… or more likely, they’ll be cut. We don’t always love it, but we accept it.

In that spirit, we’ve been thinking of some other things that can be cut from the movie without really hurting our feelings.

      • The Storm of the Century – No, not the Stephen King book (though that has no place in Catching Fire, obviously). Remember in the beginning of Catching Fire when there’s a massive storm that snows in all the residents of District 12 for about two weeks, thus giving Katniss precious time to try (and fail) to glean some information about The Rebellion? Since nothing really comes of it, we could probably go without it.
      • Broken Foot – WE KNOW. This is the “Always” moment! Of course we need that line. If that line doesn’t make it in there, we will hit a bitch. Perhaps only figuratively… we’ll see. But the line doesn’t have to come in the context of Katniss breaking her foot after the fences in District 12 are electrified. On screen, the scene in which Katniss returns home and tries to hide her injury while the Peacekeepers give her information she and the audiences already know followed by her recovery wouldn’t seem as dramatic and would take up precious time from more deserving scenes. Peeta and Katniss have ample opportunity to be adorable elsewhere!
      • The Second Quarter Quell – We were once desperately hoping for this video or flashback, but now we’ve pretty much accepted that there won’t be a full-on breakaway to Haymitch’s brilliant bit of betrayal. New actors and new locations are probably way too much work for one scene not even featuring the main actors. Hopefully, we’ll get a quick, gritty recap for older Haymitch in there!
      • “The Baby” – Some people love this moment, but we’re in love/hate with it. It’s complicated! What Peeta did was a brilliant move if Capitol audiences are stupid enough to really believe it. For some readers, it’s an eye-roll worthy first step off the Hunger Games bandwagon. A moment when you stop and go “REALLY? The majority of this society actually feel for that? C’MON. The alleged marriage should be enough to get Capitol interests in the film without running the risk of Peeta’s good intentions being too far out there.
Yup, those training outfits...

Yup, those training outfits…

      • Victors Training – We know there will be some of this, based on the still of Katniss and Finnick, but we could live without it being too involved. The politics of the Victors’ alliances don’t become clear until the arena, so it shouldn’t take too long to show that Katniss isn’t sure how to interact with these people when she still doesn’t know who to trust when the training session ends. The varying strengths and skill sets also become most apparent in the Arena, like Beetee introducing the crew to his specially designed wire, so we’re not missing much.
      • The Spile –  How many Victors does it take to get water from a tree? Four. Plus some serious thinking over the course of several hours. Or how about Mags already knows how to use a spile and we don’t watch giant tropical beaver-rats chew down the trees to drink as our protagonists dehydrate? Pretty please?!

Of course, this is an open floor! What Catching Fire book moments that weren’t already included in the trailer could you do without?

We’re Not Picky (Except We Totally Are),
The Girl With The Pearl



  1. I disagree with the “pregnancy”. This is Peeta’s biggest contribution to the unrest and rebellion as well as to his attempts to keep Katniss safe in the Arena, it absolutely can’t be cut without watering down Peeta’s character, a lot.If they cut that, I’d join all the Negative Nellys that are constantly complaining about the possibility of the movies completely ruining and watering down Peeta’s character.

    Why wouldn’t the audiences believe it? They’ve believed things that were far harder to swallow, like the “problems” and “shortages” in districts, and I’m not sure why this particular thing would be so hard to believe. I don’t think that the marriage would be enough to get the audiences riled up. Other Victors have spouses too, even children (Cecelia) and this hasn’t caused such an outrage. And a K/P marriage is something Snow himself engineered earlier, so how could it now be such an anti-Snow rallying point in itself? If those people have been watching kids kill each other for decades, and haven’t been made to go to the streets to protest a known Victor being separated from her children, sending a pregnant woman into the Arena is the only thing that can rile them up so much. You just need to see any anti-abortion rhetoric to see that people tend to get worked up about unborn children more than they do about any living people, other than babies.

  2. I agree about most of the other points – and thank you for pointing out that the “Stay with me” – “Always” scene doesn’t depend on Katniss hurting her ankle. A lot of fans tend to drawthese weird conclusions about the cause and consequence, like “If there is no Bonnie and Twill, Katniss won’t hurt her ankle; and if she doesn’t hurt her ankle, there will be no “Stay with me” scene.” Neither of these are true: while Katniss’ hurt ankle will likely be cut (that sounded painful, LOL), she would have gotten it without Bonnie and Twill, since she went to the woods to blow off steam and see the lake house again, not to see B and T (she didn’t even know about them), so if they wanted to include the hurt ankle, they could without any adjustments. And, as you point out, there are dozens of moments when K and P could have that exchange.

    An even weirder conclusion I’ve seen fans draw is “but without Bonnie and Twill, Katniss/the audience wouldn’t find out about District 13!” – as if Bonnie and Twill are the only people in Panem who are able to figure out that District 13 may still exist. They didn’t even give any info, just speculate.

    I’ll be open and admit that I would hate losing the “getting the damn goat knocked up” scene, since there are so few moments on humor in the book. But if they cut that, which they probably will, I hope they’re include some funny in some other scene. We need the funny and some banter between K and P (the nude Johanna scene?).

    Some of the things I wouldn’t mind being cut: moments like the kiss in the snow (which I’m 99.9999 % sure they’re cutting anyway) and the emphasis on “showmance” in general; they should just have enough of these moments to get the situation across. I also don’t expect every single tender scene between K and P to be there; some of them can be merged into one – e.g. they spend the day on the roof, and they go to her room, and she asks him to stay with her on the last night after the interviews, that’s some 3 scenes that could be merged into one, maybe two.

    I only half agree about the Victors’ training – they’ll probably shorten it, but they can’t just throw them into the Arena before first introducing us to these people. And since most of them get killed immediately, or remain off-screen most of the time, there is really no other chance to get to know them. Unless the lack of Victors’ training scenes is compensated with the reaping scenes and interview scenes. We don’t learn the details about every Victor, but we need to get the idea that many of them are alcoholics or drug addicts and in bad shape, and that most of them suffer from PTSD. Moments like the D5 guy throwing up would last just a second or two and wouldn’t take up time. They need to show the morphlings before we get to the Arena, since you can’t get across the idea that they’re drug addicts who are completely in their own world just from the Arena scenes. And if we don’t learn who Chaff and Seeder are and see them bonding with our heroes, then Seeder’s role would be completely pointless, since she dies at the Cornucopia, and Chaff coming out of nowhere to help Peeta and fight Brutus would be just odd. One line I definitely don’t want to be cut is Katniss’ “Peeta, how are we going to kill these people?” and it wouldn’t make sense if they haven’t already somewhat gotten to know the other Victors. And, of course, we need to have Beetee and Wiress tell Katniss about the forcefield, due to the importance of that plot point in the Game.

  3. I agree on Peeta saying that Katniss is pregnant. I feel as though its going to be one of those moments you want to slap yourself because its going to be too cheesy or people in the theater are going to laugh. I like it in the book but I don’t know if its going to be one of those moments that translates to scene Nicely. You understand why he does it in the book but since we are not in Katniss’ head I dont know how they are going to explain it.

    1. i don’t see why we would need Katniss’ monologue to explain that one. The sight of outraged Capitol audience and the protesters outside would explain it much better. And maybe a comment by Haymitch that sponsors will be lining up for Katniss.

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