No doubt we’re all familiar with the current trend in Hollywood to stretch the final book of a series into two movies. We’ve seen it in Harry Potter, Twilight, and now The Hunger Games for the films The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2. While it’s instinct to roll one’s eyes at this trend, as it is an obvious cash grab for studios, Stanley Tucci, one of the films stars, believes it to be perfect for the series, IGN reports.
“I think it does make sense to split [the book ‘Mockingjay’] into two movies. You don’t want to cram a lot of information into one. You’d either have one sort of very long movie or…We know those characters so well that we want to take the time to see their progression.”
While this does sound like typical vague actor-speak, I do believe it rings much more true for Hunger Games than it does for most other series. If you look at the third Hunger Games book at a surface level, it seems like splitting it up into two books is almost folly. Mockingjay clocks in at 390 pages (Compared to Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows‘ 870 page count, and to Breaking Dawn‘s 704 page count) — hardly enough for even one Hunger Games film, let alone two.
If you were to strictly adapt the prose into film, then yes, that would be the case, but there are many fans that believe that the third Hunger Games book was rushed, and that it felt like more of an outline of a book rather than the actual book. Its ideas were great, and its execution questionable. One can almost consider these two films as an opportunity to create a film that is even better than its source material (which is something The Hunger Games:Catching Fire, in this writer’s humble opinion, already succeeded at), as there are a great number of places where implied canon can be expanded on.
We’ve seen plenty of examples of this in the previous two Hunger Games films, where we got to see the world outside of the Hunger Games and away from Katniss’ limited perspective, and this is a strong trend that needs to continue in these films. There are also a number of characters — I won’t spoil which ones — don’t quite get the sendoff one would hope for in the book, and the film medium would be perfect for making these sendoff’s a more powerful reality.
On the whole, I’d say things are looking great for the Hunger Games film franchise. With its past hiring of such veteran actors as Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, the films were already building a solid foundation for success. And with more recent hiring of off-Hollywood talent in the form of Broadway Star Patina Miller, it looks as though the producers of The Hunger Games films are making more creative, interesting, and non-conventional decisions every day. Let us hope that extends to the pacing and script of the third and fourth films.
Thoughts on Tucci’s statement? Is this just him going by the cards, or do you believe it’s a genuine statement? Let us know your opinion below!
[Image Credit: Lionsgate]