The last two decades saw an uptick in blockbuster film franchises based on YA novels, with huge successes like the Harry Potter series and The Twilight Saga, to name a few. The only other series that can even come close to competing with those two, in terms of ticket sales and pop culture reach, is The Hunger Games; a four-movie series that kicked off in 2012 and has seemingly wrapped up with Mockingjay – Part 2 in 2015. Like its peers, there was immediate talk of continuing the Hunger Games movies beyond the reach of its books, though Harry Potter is the only one to accomplish that, so far, with two Fantastic Beasts movies and counting.
Needless to say, it isn’t easy to put together four big-budget films that tell an epic, multi-year story like The Hunger Games has, let alone have them all out within only three years. Between the monumental job of finding the right actors for all of the iconic parts, building massive sets, setting up breathtaking action sequences, and of course, those costumes, a lot had to go into making the four films before a single frame of the first one was even shot. And that isn’t taking into account all the changes that had to be made over the course of production of the four films, from unexpected crew departures, to last-minute decisions about scene direction and character choices, to one huge tragedy that befell the production while it was on its home stretch. It’s a wonder how big-budget Hollywood movies even get finished most of the time. So, without further ado, here are 8 Last-Minute Changes That Hurt The Hunger Games (and 12 That Saved It).
When the decision was made to split the last Harry Potter novel into two separate movies, it started one of the more frustrating trends of modern book-to-movie adaptations. After that, Twilight, The Hunger Games, and The Hobbit all followed suit, though that last one took things to a whole new level.
It’s obvious why movie studios copied that trend as more movies means more money, but without fail, it meant stretching out a novel too thinly, which lead to one weak film. Like the other examples, Mockingjay – Part 1 feels mostly like the origin story for Part 2, and seems to only exist to make us excited for the real final movie. A tighter-paced, single Mockingjay movie would’ve been a much better ending to the series.