It’s time for our Chapter 15 installment of By the Book, where the Mockingjay.net staff predicts what parts of “Catching Fire” will make it from the book and into the film, what scenes we’re afraid might get cut, and what quotes we hope to hear included in the script.
By the Book contains spoilers for Catching Fire, so if you haven’t read the book and don’t want to ruin any surprises, STOP READING RIGHT NOW!
After arriving in the Capitol, Katniss is prepped by a very tearful Prep Team before having lunch with Cinna. He puts her in her Parade outfit and she goes down to wait it to start. Finnick Odair offers her a sugar cube before Peeta arrives and they get in their chariot. They capture the audience’s attention again this year, but don’t respond to the cheers. After the parade, she meets Seeder and Chaff from 11 and Johanna Mason from 7. Johanna strips out of her costume and rides naked in the same elevator with Katniss and Peeta. Once they reach their apartment, they find that the new Avox assigned to them in former District 12 Peacekeeper, Darius.
A large part of this chapter will definitely be in the movie. Smaller details like Katniss’s interaction with the prep team are probably going to be cut, as is the part at the end with the Avoxes, because that subplot was thrown right out with the first movie. I do believe her conversation with Cinna will be included for two reasons: 1) they need to give Lenny a decent amount of screentime as well as reinforce Katniss and Cinna’s friendship and 2) it’s clear foreshadowing of what happens to him later in the movie… and guaranteed to make the audience bawl like babies.
Finnick’s introduction will definitely be there– that we know for sure, as Sam Claflin has already spoken about it– though I can imagine they’ll tweak it a bit. The sugar cubes line will probably still be there because it’s so iconic, but I think because of the lack of a narrator, they might have Finnick introduce himself instead of walking up to her like they’ve been BFFs their whole lives. Something along the lines of: ʺHello, Katniss. I’m Finnick Odair, I won the 64th Hunger Gamesʺ and Katniss might simply not reply, or say ʺI know.ʺ And of course, the ʺsecretsʺ part of the conversation is definitely foreshadowing for Mockingjay, but I’m not feeling as confident that’ll be included.
I think her conversation with Peeta about beautiful things will probably be cut, though I do hope they include Katniss asking if they’ll hold hands again– or at least hopefully she’ll make the first move to hold his hand this time around. It would be a good way to show how things have changed between them in the year that’s gone by since their first Games.
The introduction of Chaff and Seeder will probably be uneventful or completely glossed over; I don’t think they’ll have Chaff kiss Katniss, as I’m sure they’re going to emphasize Finnick’s teasing over anyone else’s. For that same reason, I’m doubtful they’ll bother with having Johanna strip in the elevator. It would be hilarious to see, and if they include it I’ll be the first one to cheer (they can always just show her from the shoulders up and the knees down), but I think what’s more important in this scene is not the fact that Katniss is ʺpure,ʺ but what they say, namely Johanna pretending to have ʺgirl talkʺ with Katniss and Katniss pretending back but completely failing at it. And Jena Malone can do fake-pleasant-with-sarcastic-undertones flawlessly, so it would be a great introduction for her.
Lines I Hope Make It
Cinna: ʺI always channel my emotions into my work. That way I don’t hurt anyone but myself.”
Finnick: “Want a sugar cube?”
I think we’ll see a very brief prepping with the crying Prep Team, and Katniss will tell Cinna that she can’t handle another session like that. Cinna and Katniss probably won’t have lunch, but they’ll talk briefly before she gets dressed and then we’ll see her downstairs, waiting for the Tribute Parade to start. We know that Finnick will be there in his net costume (although with a little extra material, as Sam Claflin mentioned in an interview). I’m not convinced that the sugar cube will play out like it does in the book, unless they’ve already given him a proper introduction while Katniss and Peeta watch the Reaping videos. I’m excited to see the Tribute costumes and sincerely hope they translate better to the screen than their costumes from the 74th games.
I think they will delete Chaff’s kiss and Johanna getting naked, especially since they skipped over the part of Peeta taking his pants off in the Arena. There’s no evidence that anyone would think Katniss is ʺpureʺ based on the last movie, so there’s no reason for the characters to try and make her uncomfortable in this movie. I think Johanna will talk to them, and she’ll be all snarky and sarcastic, but she won’t be naked– not because of rating, but because it’s not necessary to the plot. And, sadly, we know that Darius has been cut, so we won’t have that awful moment when Katniss discovers that he’s now an Avox.
Lines I Hope Make It
Cinna: ʺI always channel my emotions into my work.ʺ
Finnick: ʺWant a sugar cube?ʺ
There is just so much going on in this chapter! Not really sure where to begin with this one, so I’m just going to tackle it piece by piece. First up, I have no doubts that time with the prep team will be cut again and I actually hope that it is because it gives us more time between Katniss and Cinna. This would help strengthen what was shown in ‘The Hunger Games’ and ultimately really make his departure later on truly heartbreaking.
Of course though the importance of this chapter is revealing the other tributes and the big moment is Finnick’s grand entrance, which I can see play out exactly as it does in the book, with Katniss lingering in the Remake Center deliberately avoiding the others before Finnick sidles up behind her and whispers ʺHello Katnissʺ. Given the picture we have already seen of the pair in the Training Center (thanks EW!) I am highly confident their first exchange will be magnificent. The infamous ʺwant a sugar cube?ʺ line will make the cut, though I can see some variations in the conversation afterwards, but more in terms of the words that will be used rather than what occurs. I expect to see a remark from both Katniss and Finnick in regards to each others costumes as well as their short exchange regarding secrets, giving the audience just enough to leave some mystery to Finnick as he spies Peeta and leaves.I don’t think there will be much time spent between Katniss and Peeta before they climb aboard the chariot, other than a quick exchange about what Finnick wanted, so prepare for the ʺbecause you have a weakness for beautiful thingsʺ conversation to be cut (even though the book fan in me can argue reasons as to why it should stay!).
Hopefully we will get to hear Seeder tell Katniss that Rue and Thresh’s families are alive, but this all hinges on their speech in the Victory Tour, and we should get a quick introduction with Chaff too, but both of these moments can easily be shifted to later in the film i.e. the training center. However, the next character I’m most interested in seeing is Johanna and I really hope they include the elevator scene where we are introduced to a very fiery young woman. Much has been said about the PG-13 rating and whether she will strip off or not, they can quite easily just show her shoulders/back and easily convey that she has no clothes on, so I hope this is included – Katniss is clearly put off by it and I think that’s important to show, especially as Johanna quips about wanting to tear Katniss’ dress off her back (even if this line doesn’t make it I’m sure there will be some snarky comment!). I imagine the chariot sequence will finish with some kind of remark from Effie and Haymitch again, we know that Darius has been cut so don’t expect any Avox backstory, and I don’t think the conversation about Katniss’ ʺpurityʺ has a home on screen either. At any rate this is where the film really starts to ramp it up, so I can’t wait to see how it all translates! 😀
Lines I Hope Make It
Cinna: ʺDon’t worry. I always channel my emotions into my work. That way I don’t hurt anyone but myself.ʺ
Finnick: ʺWant a sugar cube?”
Finnick: ʺWith secrets. What about you, girl on fire? Do you have any secrets worth my time?ʺ