We’ve managed to see how The Hunger Games was adapted from page to screen, but how will the sequel, Catching Fire pan out?
Hana McCarthy has written to The Hogwarts Professor explaining her very detailed screenplay-outline based on both a very close reading of the books and a three act drama structure as used by Hollywood.
You can check out her entire (and incredibly detailed vision) here, but here’s some of how Hana sees the movie playing out. We’d love to know what you think.
Act1, Sequence A: District 12
Katniss is back at home but all is not well. She’s being watched by Snow, she has nightmares, she hates Victor’s Village and her relationships with Gale and Peeta are conflicted. This sequence might end with Gale’s kiss.
Act2, Sequence B: Victory Tour
This sequence poses the dramatic question that will shape the rest of the picture. Katniss is called to her mission as the Mockingjay. It might start with a confrontation with Snow who challenges Katniss to convince the audience that her love for Peeta is real. On the tour (which would probably work best on film if the order of the district visits is reversed), Katniss sees the growing signs of revolution and in District 11 she and Peeta make their famous speeches.
Act 2, Sequence C: Lockdown in D12.
Katniss and Peeta are bundled onto the train ‘Like criminals’ as Effie says, and they return to a District 12 in lockdown, crawling with peacekeepers. This is probably the point where Katniss meets the District 8 refugees (the easiest way to show the Katniss is already viewed as the Mockingjay). The sequence should probably end with Gale’s flogging to show the cruelty of the Capitol and the fact that Katniss’ loved ones are now being targeted.
Act 2, Sequence D: The Quarter Quell
This is the story center, the midpoint. Katniss stops reacting and starts acting, demonstrating the power of sacrificial love when she pulls herself out of her panic and chooses to save Peeta.
Act 2, Sequence E: The Reaping
This sequence introduces many characters and subplots. It starts with the reaping in D12, includes Haymitch’s insights into the other victors, reaches a climax as we watch Mags volunteering in District 4. The sequence might end in the Capitol with a weeping prep team (showing that these games are not going over quite as Snow had planned).
Act 2, Sequence F: Meet the Victors
Of course this sequence starts with Finnick and the sugar cubes. It then moves to the training center: Haymitch tells Katniss & Peeta to choose allies and Katniss learns about force fields. Katniss and Peeta get to know the other tributes and wonder ‘how can we kill these people. The sequence ends at the interviews with the tributes linking arms.
Act 3, Sequence G: The Arena
Haymitch tells Katniss, ‘Remember who the enemy is’. Katniss learns to trust Finnick. Peeta dies and is revived, and it becomes clear that Katniss really does love Peeta. The kiss on the beach probably ends this sequence.
Act 3, Sequence H: It’s a Clock
Starts with Mag’s sacrifice, adds Nuts, Volts and Joanna to the team, reaches a climax as Katniss understands the Clock pattern and ends as Katniss fires her arrow at the chink in the force field and loses Peeta.
Epilogue: Plutarch and Haymitch unmasked.
You can see how compressed the whole thing has to be (it’s a miracle that any film adaptations actually work). CF as a film must tell two central stories: the outer journey in which Katniss becomes the Mockingjay, the leader of the rebellion, and the inner journey in which she comes to understand the power of sacrificial love. If it succeeds in this I’ll be applauding.