The Hunger Games hasn’t even been released yet, and the world already knows it is going to be a hit. (I’ll admit it, I bought tickets for the midnight showing… something I have never done before). So it was no surprise when a few months ago it was confirmed that the other novels in the series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, were also going to be adapted.
It was recently confirmed that the script for the second film based on the second novel has been sent to author Suzanne Collins for review. This is a big step forward for the film to begin production even though it is scheduled to be released more than a year from now.
Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy recently said regarding the script:
“I just finished the first draft, literally a few days ago. I’m waiting to see what everyone thinks.”
He also went on to say that Collins knows her audience very well and knows what they can and can’t cut out.
“Actually, she’s reading possibly right now the first draft. She’s involved a lot and there will be things. She just knows her audience brilliantly and she’ll say, ‘That bit you just can’t cut out because they’ll all go crazy.’ And other bits she’ll go, ‘This is fine. You can change this.’ But she really knows her readers and because she’s been in the film world, she understands about adapting, that things have to go and things have to change. She’s been fantastic to work with.”
Beaufoy revealed that he had actually worked very closely with Collins on The Hunger Games script and the same is going to be true for Catching Fire. It has also been confirmed that the three lead stars, Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, have already signed on for four movies of the franchise.
Beaufoy also said that similarly to The Hunger Games it will be a very close adaptation with only a few minor tweaks here and there.
“Things always do have to change otherwise there’s always something very flat about very faithful adaptations,” he said. “But on the other hand, there’s an extremely loyal fan base and readership and you just have to be careful of how many liberties you do take.
He also said,
“So fortunately Suzanne is here to help me,” he continued. “She’s reading this draft at the moment and she’ll tell me, ‘You can’t do that. You must do this.’ Because there are some things that are sacrosanct to her readers and she knows them very well and she’ll let me know.”
Catching Fire follows Katniss as she and Peeta leave the Capitol and head home following the events of The Hunger Games. Once home, however, she and Peeta must act the part of a loving couple in an attempt to quell growing anxiety and rebellion among the citizens on Panem. Instead things grow worse and she has to figure out where she stands as the girl on fire and deal with the new twist thrown into the 75th Hunger Games Quarter Quell.
Lionsgate has announced that Catching Fire is set to hit theaters on Nov. 22, 2013.