Catching Fire: Trailer to Book Comparison

With the first Catching Fire trailer coming out at the MTV Video Awards two days ago, we here at Leaky News wanted to compare the events in the trailer to the events in the book. Did they stay close to canon, or did they take some creative movie licence? Have a look, and let us know what you think about the new trailer in our comments.

The trailer begins with Katniss and Peeta’s victory tour to the Districts, which is straight from the book. They go to the Districts in reverse order, starting in 11 (Rue’s District) and ending at the Capitol. Effie escorts them to the Justice Building to give their speeches. Katniss wears an orange dress in the book, it looks like they’ve chosen black for the movie.
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This moves over to President Snow watching Katniss and Peeta’s speeches with Plutarch Heavensbee, the next Gamemaker. This exchange is not from the books at all, much like the conversations with Seneca Crane in the first Hunger Games movie. The book is Katniss’ point of view only, so it’s interesting to have this insight in the movie that we didn’t have in the book.

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President Snow tells Plutarch that Katniss was just trying to save herself and not start a rebellion, but that she still needs to be dealt with.

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Plutarch (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman – excellent casting) agrees that she must die, but in the right way. These scenes are amazing characterization for Plutarch that we don’t get in the book.

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Then we move back a little in time with them arriving at District 11 with a reflective Katniss holding her Mockingjay pin. (And this looks to be where Gale kisses her later in the trailer.)

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The arrival to 11′s Justice Building isn’t described as it’s show in the trailer. There are armed guards and they seem to be sitting in an armored vehicle.

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Katniss and Peeta are barely able to look out a window.

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They see the graffiti – “The odds are never in our favor.” The book doesn’t describe the trip to the Justice Building in the same way. They see Disctrict 11 from the train, where they note the very high walls with barbed wire on top of them. The security here is much, much higher than in their own District like Rue had told Katniss.

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The next scene from the trailer is right from the pages of the book. In the book Peeta expresses thanks to Rue and Thresh’s families, and vows to send them some of their winnings every year. Katniss wants to express her sadness over Rues’ death, and then an old man in the crowd whistles Rue’s tune and salutes her. The whole crowd follows suit. We don’t hear the speeches in the trailer, but the visuals are following very closely to the book.

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The old man from the crowd is then grabbed by Peacekeepers and dragged onto the stage.

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Cut to Plutarch saying to Snow that if they do things right the people might just kill Katniss for them. This goal is never stated in the book, and it’s interesting that they’ve laid it out as their motivation.

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Back to Katniss being dragged back into the Justice Building as they pull the old man up on stage to shoot him. The book version of this scene has Katniss and Peeta accidentally witnessing the execution when they come back for flowers they had forgotten. The trailer shows them more being forced out as it happens.

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This scene in the trailer shows Katniss and Peeta with Haymitch on what might be the top of the Justice Building after seeing the old man be executed. The book has Katniss explaining their full situation to Peeta for the first time, and Peeta is angry that he hadn’t been told what was going on before then. It almost looks like this might be a combination of two parts of the book, the meeting Katniss and Haymitch have in District 12 when Katniss asks how she can get through this victory tour, and the meeting at the Justice Building.

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“So what do we do?” This is a much calmer Peeta then in the book. In the book he’s very angry that he’s been left out of the loop and starts throwing and smashing things. Will we see that anger from Peeta?

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Haymitch tells them they have to be a distraction, but he doesn’t tell them that in the book. That comes more from the meeting between him and Katniss in District 12 before they leave.

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CF: Trailer/Book Page 2…

  • hey

    Peeta*

    • Sarah

      THANK YOU.
      I nearly died, I could not handle the misspelling.

    • Kimberley H

      Thank-you! My apologies!

  • tatikof

    Of course they have to keep secret some parts for the people that have not read the books. If they show what happens in the games they would be ruining one of the better twists of the story. I think the trailer is perfect for both the people that have read the books and the ones that have not

  • http://www.facebook.com/OrinPosner Orin Posner

    I think it makes a lot of sense to not show the games themselves. If I remember correctly, the trailer for the first film only showed very little from inside the arena. It’s something that feels like it should be left if not a surprise then at least a mystery of sorts.

    Also, we’re expecting more trailers, right? If so then it makes even more sense for this one to only “set the scene” for the general atmosphere and happenings in Panem, rather than give us the “meat” of the film. But even if there aren’t any other trailers that will show the actual Quarter Quell (specifically its arena), as I said – I think it makes sense.