Screen Rant has sit down with The Hunger Games Movie Director, Gary Ross, to talk about handling the challenges of adapting a first-person science-fiction novel with political overtones, into a film that works for all audiences.
This was a tough nut to crack, obviously. The book is so Katniss-centric and relies on her particular understanding of how to play this game. Was there ever a point that you thought about voiceover narration to give us a sense of her internal dialouge?
“No, never. Because I never wanted you to feel like you were in a movie. I wanted you to feel like you were in the games. I wanted you to feel like you were in her world. I wanted you to feel like you were in the Capitol. And the minute I engage in voiceover, I shatter that and I tell you that you’re in a movie and I create a distance I don’t want. I want engagement not distance. And I felt that I could convey everything, especially with an actress like Jen (Lawrence). I mean, I don’t need to articulate in text what Jen is more than capable of doing in subtext, you know?”
Another thing that struck me as sort of a delicate balance is how far into the fantastical you go in the design of the world and the interpretation of the various pieces of science fiction and fantasy that are described in the book. For example I noticed that the “mutts” who appear at the conclusion of the games didn’t have the faces of the defeated (murdered) tributes as they do in the novel.
“We made the decision that they not be specific tributes, because if we did it, we would have been a massive digression at a moment in the movie where I didn’t think it could have afforded that. You’re hurdling toward the end and that would have taken a tremendous amount of room at a time when we didn’t have it. However, I will say that all the mutts, if you really look at them, they’re really half-human and half-dog. If you put a mutt’s face next to a dog’s face, and next to a human face, you really will see that they’re a hybrid of the two. And so we were specific about that. The important thing about the mutts to me was, not specifically that they were tributes, but that they were a creation of the Capitol designed for this particular instrument at this particular moment in the games. And because we had the games and were actually able to show their creation, we were actually able to show them being birthed in that game center and then revealed in the games. We had the ability to do something by cutting away that a novel isn’t when it’s constantly maintaining Katniss’s point of view.”
Read the rest article HERE.
(Source: Screen Rant)