The Hunger Games is filming – fast. Willow Shields, who plays Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) little sister, is already wrapped, which means so is much, if not all, of the material that takes place in District 12. Meanwhile, the tributes are hard at work – well, sort of. Hopefully these young stars are good actors because based on the photos tweeted by District 3 tribute, Ian Nelson, and District 10 tribute, Jeremy Marinas, they all look like they’re anything but at each other’s throats.
All of the tributes are incredibly active on Twitter. Recently, not only did Cato himself, Alexander Ludwig, answer some fan questions via his account, but he also announced that when he hits 10,000 followers, he’ll Skype with three of them. District 9 Tribute, Annie Thurman, fielded some questions from fans as well; she even revealed when she’ll be filming, “The main tributes that last till the end are filming. I don’t film until August,” suggesting the portions that take place in the Capitol will come to life towards the end of filming.
While we’ve seen some great local news reports documenting the shoot in North Carolina, if you’re looking for some firsthand information on what it’s like to be in a Hollywood production, working with a massive ensemble cast, keep any eye on their conversations. Here’s a full list of the Hunger Games tributes’ Facebook and Twitter accounts courtesy of Down with the Capitol.
In non-social networking news, Lionsgate is holding a contest, a big one. Well, actually, file this one under the social networking category, too, because in order to enter you’ve got to “like” the film’s Facebook page. After doing that and filling out a sweepstakes entry form, you’ve got a shot at winning a trip to The Hunger Games set. The games kicked off on June 24th and you’ve got until July 15th to enter. Lionsgate will announce the winner the week of July 25th. Clearly here the odds are not in your favor, but, then again, so were Katniss’ odds of having to fight in the Hunger Games.
Meanwhile, Lionsgate announced The Hunger Games will be scored by an Academy Award winner and nominee, T Bone Burnett and Danny Elfman, respectively. The LA Times also reported that The Hunger Games will not hit Hall H at San Diego Comic Con as planned, as the shooting schedule is too intense. However, Lionsgate still aims to make a statement at Comic Con for The Hunger Games and some of its other upcoming films by arranging press interviews and holding off-site events and contests.
Lastly, the three Hunger Games movie tie-in books are now available for pre-order. There’s The Hunger Games Illustrated Movie Companion, a behind-the-scenes book, The World of the Hunger Games, a piece that focuses on the details of the characters and Panem, and The Hunger Games: Movie Tie-In Edition. On top of that, the Hunger Games Collector’s Edition is also available for pre-order, featuring brand new Mockingjay artwork.
The Fan Sites Weigh In – Characters Not To Forget
Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Cinna, the tributes and other more high profile roles have been all the rage the past few weeks, so much so, that it’s easy to overlook some of the book’s minor characters. They may not grace as many pages, but there are quite a few residents of Panem that manage to make significant impacts with very little material.
Of course the book-to-film adaptation process warrants some changes, but as the tendency is to remove seemingly insignificant characters with a minimal presence, there are a few less prominent faces in Suzanne Collins’ book that are deserving of some big screen attention as, even with minimal time in the spotlight, they still manage to create a strong ripple effect that surges through the rest of the story.
With the help of the team from The Hob and Theresa of Down with the Capitol, I bring you the supporting characters who’ve yet to be cast, as far as we know, and mustn’t be forgotten:
Greasy Sae works in District 12’s black market, the Hob, dishing out hot soup of questionable, albeit eatable, contents from her large kettle. As Katniss describes, “She’s the only one who can consistently be counted on to buy wild dog,” which is part of why she’s been a key factor to Katniss and her family’s survival since Mr. Everdeen’s passing. Thanks to the Capitol’s restrictions, earning a living is nearly impossible in District 12 without the Hob. But even beyond monetary value, the people working there, Greasy Sae included, mean a lot to Katniss and shouldn't just be nameless faces in the movie; we've always thought of them as an extended family for Katniss. Plus, with a name like Greasy Sae and a quote like, "Once it's in the soup, I'll call it beef," how could she not make it into the movie? (The Hob)
Ok, some fans may be wondering out of all the minor characters in The Hunger Games, why I think it's essential for Peeta's Dad to be in the film. After all, he would certainly not receive much screen time unless the script adds additional scenes for him. In fact, in the novel he is only physically present in one scene when he visits Katniss after the reaping and presents her with cookies. A sweet moment yes, but perhaps not a must have to many fans as compared to other scenes. He is mentioned briefly at a few other points, but there is one pivotal moment concerning him that I feel is essential to the film and is why I'd love to see them establish the baker with that small cookie scene.
On one rainy night in the arena, in a small, damp cave, Katniss asks Peeta, "When did forever start," trying to get him to speak about when his crush on her began. To Katniss' surprise, Peeta tells her it was actually his father who pointed her out to him on the first day of school. Without spoiling the story, we could assume that if it wasn't for the baker pointing out five-year-old Katniss to Peeta, the crush may have not developed. In a way, their relationship all started with one conversation between a father and son. Therefore, I want to see Peeta's father, so I can visualize the person who set so many things in motion. (Theresa)
Buttercup must be in the film; end of story! Everybody loves him right? Okay, maybe I should explain that a little better. Buttercup is more than just Prim's pet that Katniss once tried to drown. That mangy, Katniss-despising cat may actually be more of a symbolic character than many readers realize. Perhaps even her alter ego?
Let's look at the parallels …
- Katniss = Kat-niss
- The only person Katniss states she knows she loves is Prim. Similarly, the only character Buttercup shows affection towards is Prim.
- Katniss is a great Hunter, as is Buttercup
- Katniss does everything she can to survive and Buttercup is the cat who refuses to die.
- Katniss is standoffish and protective, while Buttercup is less than approachable and watchful over Prim.
And another key point, it is not Gale that Katniss trusts to watch over Prim when she leaves for the Games; it's Buttercup, who she knows will be there to comfort her sister. Buttercup is only a minor character in the first book as well as in Catching Fire, but it is in Mockingjay when he truly comes into his own and the metaphorical connections to Katniss become increasingly clear, so it is vital he make himself known in the first film. (Theresa)
We agree that Mr. Mellark should be shown in the film, but want to emphasize Mrs. Mellark’s importance, too. Peeta took a beating from his mother in order to sneak Katniss some bread. This is an important moment in their story as it shows how long Peeta has had feelings for Katniss and what he was and is willing to sacrifice for her. (The Hob)
Another parent who we feel strongly about being included is Mr. Everdeen. He was a big influence on Katniss and his death completely changed her life and turned her into the person we meet at the beginning of the story. Katniss wouldn't be the excellent archer she is without his guidance, and this is the skill she uses most before she even enters the arena, as well as during the games. While Mr. Everdeen isn't actually in The Hunger Games, we think he's an important character to show through Katniss' memories. (The Hob)
While the odds are in the The Hob and Theresa’s favor in that the character they’ve chosen will likely all have places in the film, rumor has it, Madge Undersee, the District 12 mayor’s daughter is out. Apparently Gary Ross’ film has Prim bestowing the iconic Mockingjay pin upon her sister, not Madge and as that action is of prime importance to the character, its reassignment suggest that Madge is not coming to life along with the rest of the characters.
Oh well, better use this opportunity to get her in the spotlight a bit. While seeing Prim hand over the Mockingjay pin before big sis boards the Capitol train to her death will likely be a tearjerker, there was something special about two girls who weren’t particularly friendly, as they were merely childhood classmates, sharing such a significant moment. Think about it; isn’t it always a nice surprise when someone you’d never expect steps up and does something truly nice for you? It says quite a bit about the two people involved and how they feel about each other without explicitly stating it and on the big screen, delivering information in that manner is incredibly impactful.
No, Prim doesn’t need to go into some whole shpeil as she hands over the Mockingjay, but ultimately, we know Prim loves Katniss dearly as she’s her sister. Having Madge do it, on the other hand, is quite out of the blue, raising many more questions and contributing a great deal to her character development, as well as Katniss’. (Perri)
What do you think? Did we miss anyone? Let us know.
The Hunger Games Countdown runs here on Movies.com every other Wednesday. There are 267 days until release.