#94 Fireside Chat: The Cut's Out of the Bag Sunday 03 February, 2013

“The Cut’s Out of the Bag”

If you missed Episode 94 live last night, click here to listen to the recording OR use the embedded player below!

(Twill & Bonnie fan art by nikola-nickart)

Episode 94 of Hunger Games Fireside Chat will air live this Monday, February 4, at 10pm ET/7pm PT! This week, our panel of experts will include some of our fabulous friends from Down with the Capitol, Crystal of Mockingjay.net and FictionalFood.net, Courtney of Welcome to District 12, and Kait of Victor’s Village.

– To kick things off, we’ll talk about the decision to cut Bonnie, Twill, and Darius from the film adaptation of Catching Fire, a change that Francis Lawrence revealed in his interview in Entertainment Weekly’s 2013 preview issue.

– We’ll also talk about Francis Lawrence’s recent interview with MTV, in which he talked about casting Finnick, “honing Haymitch,” and filming the arena scenes.

– In Welcome to District 12’s latest Mockingjay Mock-up, they explore ways in which the series epilogue might be translated from page to screen. They also address the possibility that the epilogue might not be included at all! We’ll share our thoughts on the matter. Please leave us a comment below telling us how you’d feel if the epilogue was NOT included in Mockingjay: Part 2.

– If there’s time remaining, we’ll go grab baggin’. Update: We pulled a topic out of our grab bag that was submitted by Tess! Her question: Would you rather compete in the 74th or 75th arena?

You can chat with other listeners throughout the live show by using our hashtag #HGFiresideChat on Twitter! We recommend TweetChat to easily follow along with the conversation.

(If you missed our last episode, click here to listen!)

And click here for an index of all of our archived episodes.

Follow this week’s participants on Twitter:
Adam (Host): @AdamSpunberg
Savanna (Co-Host/Producer): @MlleNouveau
Down with the Capitol: @HungerGamesDWTC
Crystal: @pikko / @mockingjaynet / @FictionalFood
Courtney: @WtoD12
Kait: @VictorsVillage

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  • The Vaultmaster says:

    I wasn’t a gigantic fan of the epilogue! I wouldn’t be heartbroken if Francis Lawrence left it out of Mockingjay Part 2.

    Although the epilogue provded closure, I just think it would have been better if Suzanne Collins had left Katniss and Peeta’s future more vague, leaving us, the readers, to draw our own conclusions as to how the two of them lived the rest of their lives together.

    However, I do think they will include the epilogue in Mockingjay, much like how they did include the epilogue in the final Harry Potter movie- although there were tons of people who didn’t like the epilogue in the Harry Potter movies, David Yates included it because it was important. I think the same thing will be done in Mockingjay… though I wouldn’t be complaining if it was cut.

  • Samantha N says:

    If they leave out the Epilouge, I don’t think I will even go see the movie. I love Mockingjay and it’s my favorite of the three. The message of the epilouge is incredibly imortant: even though horrible, devistating things happen every day, and they scar us permanently, things can be good again. There is still that spark of hope. There always will be. That is the entire point of the series, and if they cut it out, there is no point to the books.

    • satsuma says:

      ITA. Note that, even with the Epilogue, I’ve seen some fans state things like “If this is the way it all ends, then Katniss was better off just letting Prim go to the Hunger Games”. It actually turns the whole story into the same kind of “War, terrible war” propo that the Capitol used to maintain the status quo in the movie. I do NOT think SC meant for her message to be that “evil always wins in the end, rebels always turn into tyrants themselves, so might as well live under tyranny all your life, because fighting for freedom just isn’t worth it”.

      Katniss and Peeta having kids shows that they actually DID change the world for the better, for I do NOT think Katniss would ever have had kids, no matter how much Peeta wanted them, if post-war Panem hadn’t changed significantly. Now, I know some people think that Katniss having kids just shows the war completely broke her and turned her into a weak person like her mother, who just let Peeta coerce her into having kids. But I doubt the film version of the Epilogue will show it that way.

  • Samantha N says:


  • satsuma says:

    First of all, if we’re going to discuss the F-Law interview, then I think we also need to discuss the “bonus” feature on the Hollywood Crush site (that’s part of MTV). That one raised up a whole Tracker Jacker nest of debate, due to F-Law stating that one of his favorite scenes was one between Gale and Katniss before the reaping. Is this scene adapted from one in the book, or a movie-only one? For some reason, it got a lot of people even more concerned that the movie was going to be too skewed toward the Gale-Katniss relationship; someone even accused F-Law of being a “Gale and Katniss shipper”.

    Re the Mockingjay Mockup: I read the article on Welcome to District 12. I liked their version of MJ Part 2 for the most part, but I for one DO hope the Epilogue is included, because without it, the story is almost devoid of hope. Now, I am fairly sure that SC meant for the average reader to see the Games vote NOT as Katniss’s last stand in which she decides Coin must be stopped, but an “I love Big Brother” moment in which all hope is lost and Katniss just buckles under to the inevitability of evil, in order to set up the shocking twist of Katniss killing Coin instead of Snow. (And, from the POV of LG, hopefully induce people to watch the movie a second time to see if they missed something the first go-around.)

    But even after Coin is dead, Katniss herself seems to think she didn’t accomplish much, since at that point, she sees all human beings, not just Snow and Coin, as monsters. So, to me, her killing Coin was NOT the cathartic, “Go Girl” moment that it was to some. Not even her acquittal made me feel much hope, since that was really more about Plutarch and others involved, being savvy enough to realize that executing Katniss would turn her into a martyr, and just trying to quietly get her out of the way, before they face any scrutiny themselves for what they did under Coin. (Though I did like the idea of the general populace still loving Katniss.)

    Note that even HP, in which Voldemort was obviously soundly defeated at the end, the moviemakers chose to include the Epilogue. While ending the story with showing Peeta and Katniss “growing back together” would be okay, I think that audiences would want to know if their sacrifices were worth anything. The Epilogue not only shows that Katniss felt secure and hopeful enough to have kids after twenty years, it also shows that she SURVIVED those twenty years instead of taking her own life, being killed by Peeta during a flashback, or even being quietly assassinated.

    (BTW, am I the only one wondered, when Peeta first tells Katniss that Dr. Aurelius didn’t let him leave the Capitol earlier, “Ok, does that mean he’s safe to be around now, or did someone who wanted Katniss out of the way for good, influence him to clear Peeta, hoping the third time would finally be the charm?”)

    Anyway, even with the Epilogue, many people still see MJ as dark and depressing, and sending a message that true social change is impossible, and that challenging the status quo just results in losing all your friends and family, and becoming a PTSD-ridden wreck, so why bother? I think if we leave it out, even more people will feel that way. Also, if MJ ends in some PG-13 rated love scene between K and P, some critics will claim that the whole story was just about a teenage love triangle after all.

  • Maia says:

    I am not bothered by Bonnie and Twill not being in the movie, but I am worried about what is also cut from the film??

    How are they going to do an online convention?? I am going to buy a ticket just cause I’m curious !

  • Kasey V says:

    If the epilogue was not included….I think I would be kind of upset. Because the epilogue shows hope at the end of the series. That people were able to move on and that the Panem was a better place. Katniss having children showed that she believed that they were safe.

    Hope is a big thing when it comes to this series. Which is what the ending is after all the heartache we as readers went through as the series progressed.

    I don’t see why they wouldn’t be able to… even if it was a flash of Katniss’ children running around in a field. With Katniss and Peeta looking after them. Simple and sweet.

    If they ended up not giving us the epilogue. Then I would hope that Francis Lawrence would work the film. So that at the end I would believe that the epilogue wasn’t needed. If he could make me believe that as the ending credits showed up on screen. Then, yes, I could live with it not being there. I would be sad. But alright with it. It is one of my favorite epilogues I have read and I really hope it will make it in the film.

    • satsuma says:

      Kasey, I agree that I might be able to live with cutting the Epilogue if the movie provides with another scene to give us that sense of hope. I can also see an ending in which we see Jen/Josh as Katniss and Peeta welcoming their first child into the world, but doesn’t go all the way into hearts/flowers/meadows land. However, if they actually give a nod in the CF movie to the fantasy Katniss lets herself entertain, of Peeta’s child playing in a meadow in a world without Hunger Games, then I’d be pretty confident that they WILL be including the Epilogue in some form.

      I think that the commercial pressure will be for the movie to have some semblance of a happy ending, though I think this might be where we find out what SC’s real message was. Did she really want the ending to have a spark of hope, or is that just wishful thinking on our part? Or did she actually want it to be more bitter than sweet, emphasizing the scars more than the recovery, all the more to underscore her anti-war message? Will she, Nina, and others, be eyeing the Oscars and decide that the Epilogue will make the movie too sentimental to be considered?

      I think another consideration might be, to emphasize that Peeta is NOT a threat to Katniss at the end, as this has also been a point of contention in the fandom; the idea that Peeta reverts totally back into full homicidal hijacked mode during his flashbacks seems to be very popular in fanon, but this is NOT my take on it, and I think that if this is mishandled, there will be some angry anti-IPV activists slamming the movie for suggesting that violence in relationships is acceptable.

  • Gavin says:

    Francis Lawrence probably made that cut cause he found a more organic way to introduce the idea of rebellion in panem. B & T being cut is like cutting the prep team in the first film, I felt the prep team in the book was a proxy for the reader to understand how the capitol citizens viewed the games since we only saw things from Katniss’ perspective, so since the film was able to expand outside of Katniss, the filmmakers could show how the capitol citizens react to the games.

    Anyway my question is: Even though cuts have been made (madge, bonnie &Twill, etc.) are there any characters in Catching Fire that you hope will get the Seneca Crane treatment (having their character expanded in that movie and potential future movies?

    If I had to pick one, I’d say Romulus Thread, which I feel his presence in the last 3 films would give a face of the peacekeepers tracking down Star Squad 451 in the capitol, and a person to be responsible for the physical torture of peeta while he’s captured. That leads me to a crackpot theory I’ve had.

    Crackpot Theory: Peeta’s family was not killed in the bombing of District 12, they were actually pulled out during the bombing by the Capitol and we’re detained and were used to force Peeta to do the propos and when Peeta failed to quell the rebels they were executed in front of him. Because of his hijacking and PTSD, he blocked that memory out so when Delly Cartwright talked to him and he asked what happened to his family he didn’t remember.

    I could see Thread being introduced in the background of a D12 scene and our first interaction with him is during Gale’s whipping scene where Peeta stands up to Thread, embarrassing him in the process. We could get small glimpses of him harassing D12 citizens during the games and maybe even taking his anger he feels toward Peeta out on his family by maybe shutting the bakery down. We don’t see athread again until MJ part 1 where we see Peeta detained and Snow introduced Peeta to his personal interrogator, where Thread enters maybe showing a burn scar or two reflecting the fire bombing on 12 that happened during the games. Thread then is shown between collecting information in a war room similar to the gamemaker’s room in the first film & abusing Peeta to get information from him.

    This peaks in the 3rd film between the second &third Caesar interviews when a beaten Peeta is confronted in his holding cell by President Snow &Thread. They allude on threats they made earlier regarding him regretting not quelling Katniss & the rebels, when they have an avox walk into the cell with a projector similar to the one Katniss’ family watched the games on during the first film and all we see is Josh’s face react in disbelief then we pull away to see 4 people kneeling with hoods over their heads. Snow tells Peeta that he was given chances to redeem himself but in order to return Panem to a peaceful state sacrifices must be made and he thanks Peeta for his sacrifice. When Snow exits, Thread plays a video of the first figure unhooked to reveal Peeta’s father, we see a figure offscreen pick up a bow & arrow similar to the one Katniss used in the first games. This is where Josh shows his acting chops as we see him sobbing or saying no and then his face goes still and then begins to break as you understand his father has been executed. The camera could cut away to someone like Johanna or Annie hearing Peeta being tortured and maybe we hear Peeta from his cell say a line like “No…mom.” With his voice in pain we could see someone like Annie covering her ears almost sobbing hearing him being tortured as if she’s being tortured herself.

    I think Thread could be a great vehicle for the filmmakers to covey the level of torture Peeta goes through but still shows how important she is to him. Which when he attacks her makes it all the more heart breaking. Hey F-Law takes as much of that as you want for March, I have more regarding athread and Peeta but I just developed carpel tunnel. Peace out.

    • satsuma says:

      Gavin, while I admire your creativity, I think that if Thread was really meant to be that important, he would actually have a confirmed actor cast to play him by now, and we haven’t heard anything of the sort, though I do recall some rumors about Patrick St. Espirit being cast. Also, while Mockingjay DOES have the luxury of two films to tell its story, there is so much going on already, that I’m not sure if introducing a “technically canon, but essentially an Original Movie Character” like your version of Thread will work. As for Seneca, while most people liked the addition of his character, I’ve also read criticisms that the movie wound up glamorizing him as some tragic hero.

      However, you do bring up a point about the impact of cutting Darius on Mockingjay. Will they still include the idea that people were tortured in front of Peeta for no other reason than to psychologically torture him by forcing him to watch? The fact that the tortured Avoxes obviously couldn’t confess to anything, even if they wanted to, is what underscores the cruelty of this, that they were tortured simply as a way to indirectly torture Peeta. Torturing anyone else in front of Peeta, whether it be Effie (discussed as a possibility in the last Chat), Peeta’s family, Portia, Annie, Johanna, or some random prisoner, doesn’t have quite the same level of horror, at least to me.

      However, while apparently members of Peeta’s family WERE cast for CF, I doubt the audience would feel that connected to them based on what will likely be a few minutes in CF. Note that the THG movie didn’t reveal any of the backstory the book did, such as Peeta’s father wanting to marry Katniss’s mother, or how abusive Peeta’s mother really was. I don’t think Peeta’s brothers were mentioned at all. I think that if the movies shows anyone being tortured in front of Peeta, it will be someone who actually has a name (though come to think of it, Effie is actually never named in the THG movie).

  • Rachel says:

    Don’t forget to talk about the Google Maps Cornucopia set!

  • I originally left this comment over at WTD12, but wanted to make sure I put in my two cents about the epilogue. I really hope that there is a “there’s good in this world and it’s worth fighting for” Sam (from Lord of the Rings) scene, but I can’t help but long for it to be in an Epilogue (voice over or not) moment. I think the epilogue is key, not just because I’m a huge Peeta fan, and not just because I’m a romantic at heart, but because I think Katniss choosing the daisy/the spring instead of the fire is part of Suzanne’s message. War is destructive. Sometimes you don’t have a choice. When you do have a choice, will you choose peace or war? I also think that Katniss choice to have children with Peeta, IMHO, helps to bring her full circle as a character. AND, lastly, I think epilogue IS the Sam scene in this movie… how she has to play this game with herself to list every good thing she has seen someone do. OH DANNY, PLEASE! I beg of you, don’t leave out the Epilogue!

  • Katie says:

    I don’t need specific details of the epilogue to be included, but I need the spirit of it to be there. I don’t want an ending that’s too gloomy nor do I want one that makes it seem like everything’s perfect. You need some sense of the fact that while the emotional scars will never heal, there is still something worth living for – that’s the most important thing.

  • Averi says:

    It doesn’t really matter that they took out Bonnie, Twill, and Darius. That wasn’t a huge plot in CF.

    Now to MJ P2- I would probably be pretty be pretty upset. I think Katniss overcoming her decicion to have kids was a huge deal. She was strong enough to get over her fears and it ended up making her happy in the long run. And I liked Mockingjay, but I was really depressed when Finnick died, more about Finnick then Prim. I think the ending of the war and Panem not being a dictatorship anymore was a spark of hope too. So I don’t think Mockingjay was as depressing as some people make it. I think it would have a happier ending if they did have an epilogue.

  • Annie B says:

    I find that I am both slightly upset and unbothered of the removal of Binnie, Twill and Darius from the movie. In a aspect Bonnie and Twill were Katniss’ first true look into the rebellion. It was the first time she got to see just how important she was weather or not she was willing to accept it. I can also understand however due to time constraints and far more important details the reasoning behind Lawrences decision to cut the characters. Darius albeit was not an extremely important character, but what he did reprent was home and the injustice of the capitol to Katniss, giving the readers a slight pang of remorse even for somone who orginally worked under the capitol.
    I would be extremely upset if the Epilouge was cut from Mockingjay: Part two. The Epilouge was important even though it was just a few short paragraphs leaving us begging for more, what those few paragraphs represents is what makes the message behin the trilogy so important. It shows how even after destruction, even after losing everything including ones self that there is still light in the darkest of tunnels. Showing how Katniss had a change of heart even after being left broken, after Peeta was hijacked and after what was left of her family was no longer part of her life, she still allowed love and she had children, which was the main thing she swore she would never give into. The Epilouge is important, without it Mockingjay ends on a sa note, yes there is Real Or not Real, but nothing is cemented together, there are loose ends and the epilouge is what binds them together. In my own Opinion, I do not believe Suzanne Collins would allow for the epilouge to be forgotton nor do I believe that Francis lawrence will remove it. I think that they will have the epilouge including one way or another, and as long as it is translated properly the final movie should leave everyone in a many heart renching feelings and tears as there was the first time you finished mockingjay

    • satsumarena says:

      It also occurs to me that if the movies continue to NOT use voiceover, then it will be difficult to incorporate the idea, during the Real or Not Real scene, that one of the reasons Katniss chooses Peeta is because he gives her hope that “things can be good again”. The Epilogue would become even more important in the case, for if that is included in the movie, it would SHOW, not just tell, that Peeta did give Katniss that hope, enough hope to have children with him and trust that their lives would be better.

  • Sylvia says:

    If they cut out the epilogue, i would feel incomplete. The epilogue gives the story a closure and without it, you don’t really get that done and finished feel to the story. They included it for Harry Potter so i bet they’ll include it for Mockingjay 🙂

  • Caitlyn K says:

    Yes, I would be pretty sad if the epilogue didnt make it into the movie. I see it as a very important part. It shows the viewers that Katniss and Peeta do end up together and have a beautiful future together:)

  • satsumarena says:

    Great show as usual! I hope it doesn’t come across like I’m monopolizing this discussion, but regarding the comparisons between the MJ and HP Epilogues, I think that the MJ epilogue is a bit more important, because it actually tells us something new about Katniss, that she eventually did feel comfortable having children, and the children do seem fairly well-adjusted and happy.

    While SC did certainly foreshadow this ending in CF, with Katniss thinking about Peeta’s child in a meadow, I think it came as a surprise to many readers that she did have kids. And I know that some interpreted this reveal in a very negative way, that Peeta somehow coerced her into this decision, and see Katniss as weak for having gone along. But still, it did provide a very important piece of information. As well as confirming that the Games were ended after Coin died.

    However, at least IMHO, the HP Epilogue didn’t tell us anything new about Harry. Nothing in the Epilogue surprised me. I guess some people were surprised that Harry forgave Snape and Dumbledore to the extent he did (won’t go into details since I know some THG fans haven’t read or seen HP), but to me, this was only a matter of degree. Harry had already shown forgiveness, understanding, and compassion for both men earlier in the book. So to me, the HP Epilogue was actually less important. But it was still included in the movie. And while obviously, the people helming MJ are a totally different group, I do think they will include the Epilogue in SOME form, though it might be tweaked a little.

  • Cassie says:

    I”m recalling that you said in this weeks podcast when you were talking about the Haymitch portion of the interview, that Gary Ross made Woody Harrelson, and Elizabeth Banks tone down their performances. First of all, I love the movie, but I have kind of always wondered if Gary Ross didn’t want anybody to outshine Katniss, so he wouldn’t let anybody really perform to their abilities. If that is the case, it is a shame, because while this is Katniss’s story, it is not a one women show, and the story wouldn’t exist without all the other wonderful characters. I’m not trying to stir up controversy, but it’s just a thought.

  • Andy says:

    I really want the epilogue to be in the movie it was important if they do the epilogue I wonder who will be cast as Peeta and katniss kids.

  • L says:

    Look at this, u may find it interesting
    “In a recent interview, director Francis Lawrence revealed that the second part of Mockingjay would leave enough breathing room for the book’s epilogue.”


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