In my absence, Peeta has become the topic of the week! Not that we blame our brilliant guest writers, of course! There’s just so damn much to say about the future Mr. Katniss Everdeen!
Today, Hunger Games Bookclub is taking the reins to take about the Peeta we know from the books and the first movie vs. the Peeta we’re going to get in Catching Fire and beyond!
I hate to break it to you, but there are multiple Peetas running around out there. It all started when The Hunger Games was first published. This version affectionately has been termed Book!Peeta. As soon as you read THG, another alternate version came into existence… the Peeta that lives inside of your mind. Let us call that Imagination!Peeta. Once the movie of The Hunger Games was released in 2012, we had a third version alive and kicking: Movie!Peeta
Sometimes there was conflicts between these three versions of Peeta. People couldn’t understand why Movie!Peeta didn’t have the blue eyes of Book!Peeta. Folks were heartbroken that their Imagination!Peeta had a real life name of (the guy from Weeds, the guy from Vampire whatever, the guy from you fill in the blank) but that person wasn’t hired as Movie!Peeta. And Josh Hutcherson had brown eyes and movie magic blonded hair instead what Book!Peeta described. If you have been around THG fansites at all, Victor’s Village included, you will know that fans get quite passionate about who they believe Peeta should or should not be.
Here’s the rub: Coming November 2013, there will be another Peeta to add to the mix. I know, I know, Josh Hutcherson is playing the role of Peeta in both movies. However, there are some other significant differences between the two films. The CFMovie!Peeta, as I shall now dub him, comes from a script that is written by a completely different team than THGMovie!Peeta. Although Suzanne Collins and Gary Ross both expressed their pleasure at working together to write The Hunger Games screenplay, they also expressed how difficult it was to take a book and adapt it into the visual format and time constraints of a movie. This go-around, we have a script written by Michael Arndt, who has won an Oscar for adapting books into screenplays. The Catching Fire movie will also have a new director: Francis Lawrence. Fans have already seen the upgrade in costumes and some of the other visual aspects in the teaser trailer that was released recently. We’ve also heard from interviews with cast and F-Law that there were some parts of the first movie that he wanted to maintain and others to which he adjusted to his own personal vision for the series. He has already been hired to direct Mockingjay Part 1 and 2 as well, so we can expect continuity in his vision across the films. Francis Lawrence brings more to the table than the visual. For example, Woody Harrelson commented that Lawrence encouraged him to research Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for his character. Most fans agree that the signs are pointing toward Catching Fire having more depth in some of the themes of poverty and war.
So what does this mean for Peeta’s character? Will the Peeta in Catching Fire have more depth to his character as well? Obviously, we won’t know until November. But I can tell you from reading countless comments on popular fansites about THGMovie!Peeta, that he did not come across to some viewers (especially those who had never read the books) with the emotional strength and verbal savvy that we attribute to Book!Peeta. In the books, Peeta is not known for his physicality as much as Gale (although Peeta can lift heavy sacks of flour and hold his own in hand to hand combat) but is a person who is known for his quick brain and smooth tongue.
When I first saw pictures of Peeta from the Catching Fire teaser trailer, I immediately noticed the determined set of his jaw, the simmering anger, and the grimness. Perhaps CFMovie!Peeta will be different. Stronger. A bit jaded.
Maybe If The Odds Are In Our Favor, We’ll Catch A Glimpse Of That Peeta In Our Imagination,
Hunger Games Bookclub