Possible SPOILER ALERTS waiting to ambush you. You’ve been warned.
So I finally saw THE HUNGER GAMES this weekend, helping it out on its way to a $400M worldwide box office gross to date. Oh, wait a second…no I got free tickets from my friend who knows the Projectionist. So, strike that. They’re almost to a Half a Billion Dollars without my patronage. But I did buy the book to read beforehand, so I have contributed to the overall Hunger Game fever. I have to say, though, the movie is NOTHING like the book. Seriously, I mean there were actors and a musical score and there was a WHOLE heckuva lot less reading involved and fewer chapter breaks and stuff like that. But still good, I thought, despite those radical and bold changes.
Wow, half a billion here and half a billion there, pretty soon you’re starting to talk about a lot of money. Speaking of half a billion dollars, that’s how much the MegaMillions Lottery was last weekend, too. Closer to $656M, I believe. I actually bought a ticket because if I won I was gonna buy Asheville, NC. But that was up until I saw this from Slashfilm.com:
Pretty sweet deal. Except all of the people up to and including Katniss and Peeta are sold separately so that was a little stinky. But hey, free bakery! Anyway, make sure you read the fine print. But in the end, the lotto gods were against my financial betterment and so here I sit.
Now, one thing that a lot of people don’t know about, but our rigorous and adept research department at Wired4Film has dug up, is the fact that Hunger Games and its heart-wrenching tale of Katniss and District 12 is actually a sequel. The Prequel of course is Neill Blomkamp’s DISTRICT 9. More of an unofficial prequel, judging by the lack of source material out there linking the two.
Anywho, as with any novel-to-screenplay adaptation there’s going to be like a LOT of scaling down to do. Characters get trimmed or combined, subplots get cut out, like in the case of “Soul Surfer” where there was this whooooooole backstory on the Shark who lived in this underwater village called Lapuna and was picked on incessantly by other meaner sharks…well he was kinda the “Precious” of the underwater kingdom. It really leant a whole dynamic to his narrative, but there was simply not time enough for that in the film, sooooo, chop chop and there goes an awesome character arcing shark story.
Likewise, in this HUNGER GAMES epic film, you cannot possibly cover every story from all 12 districts. There’s just not enough time to do that. But knowing what we know about the District 9 prequel, we were able to press Lionsgate for some answers. The result is these never before seen stills from the film that may or may not actually be in the DVD extended release directors uncut version on Blu-ray.
Apparently there’s a similar story as with Katniss and her little sister, Prim, going on in District 9 which leads this Prawn to volunteer for the Tribute. A very self-less act. Or maybe he was just stretching or celebrating his sister’s reaping because he hated her. We’ll never know because we don’t really speak their language. A little two clicky clicky if you ask me. But, in the end, volunteer he did. I think his name is Jeff.
Of course Effie is in charge of both districts 9 and 12 so she’s on hand for the interview and wisely calls for some translators this time. Turns out Jeff is thrilled to have a chance to represent his District in the games. Funny story, he actually didn’t volunteer to save his little sister, turns out he actually ate her for breakfast is what he said. Either way, cute story, very self-less guy this Jeff. High on charisma. In a blur of activity he’s whisked away to the Capitol City.
Once inside the game, there are some Alliances that form. This scene occurs shortly after the Careers all join up and before the whole Rue thing takes place. Lionsgate really pressed to play up the romance between Katniss the girl on fire and Jeff the Prawn, ironically just as the Gamemakers were pressing to get Katniss and Peeta together. Now if that’s some art imitating life I don’t know what is.
This particular scene occurs after Katniss and Jeff share a little kiss and Haymitch rewards them with a parachute full of baby kittens. This may not seem right at first, but as any well-studied alienologist will explain, that’s just what those other-worlders prefer, just ask Alf. Anyway, it must be just after this moment that something goes awry with the relationship because we neither see Jeff, nor the kittens in any of the subsequent scenes which doesn’t bode well for District 9.
So now, gentle reader, you’ve got what we’ve got! We’re all just waiting for those Blu-ray DVD extras now to see this relationship play out to its tragic and bitter end.
You’re welcome, America! And may the odds be ever in your favor!