Mockingjay Part 1 – Behind the Scenes in the Capitol?

While I sit here and hope Them There Eyes hasn’t been eaten by a bear on her camping adventure, we’re off to the next guest post!

Today, JJ is here to talk about the glorious potential of the Mockingjay Part 1 movie to show us interesting scenes outside of Katniss’ limited point-of-view!


So, an interview blurb came out and some people didn’t like the things Francis Lawrence said about Peeta. This wasn’t the first time, or the hundredth time, and certainly won’t be the last time people get worried or upset by the way Peeta is interpreted/changed/underdeveloped/not included enough in marketing, etc.

But it got me thinking again, how are they going to make Mockingjay Part 1 a movie that a lot of fans don’t hate? Or at the very least, see only once as opposed to their three, four, five PLUS trips to the theater for The Hunger Games?

If filmmakers divide the book about evenly between the two movies, the only scenes with Peeta are a couple of televised appearances.

But wait you say- it’s a movie! We can have new scenes not tied to Katniss’s POV!  And this is where I get super excited.  With the extra time of having two movies for Mockingjay, there is room to flesh out some of what goes down in the Capitol.  Think of the possibilities.

The Aftermath of the Quarter Quell.  Could we finally discover what happens to the victors that aren’t rescued to District 13? To Effie? And I’d love to see some initial mind game-heavy scenes between Snow and Peeta or Snow and Johanna. Peeta doesn’t really have any interaction with Snow that we know about up to this point. And is Johanna her defiant self when face to face with Snow?

More background leading up to this in Part 2, plzkthx.

More background leading up to this in Part 2, plzkthx.

Peeta and Johanna bonding in the cellblock. Orange Is the New Black, only about a thousand times more messed up.

The Hijacking. Gulp. I don’t exactly want to see this, and it will be a PG-13 movie so fortunately it can’t get TOO graphic. But I am interested in how the filmmakers interpret these scenes.  Will they make it more ambiguous torture so non-book reading audiences are surprised when Peeta attacks Katniss? Or will they assume that most people already know and just flat out show Snow’s intentions?

The Rescue. Very little is revealed about the rescue mission, only that it was “a little too easy.” Details please!

Mockingjay Part 1 has the potential to be the most surprising of all the movies. And I couldn’t be happier about it.



  1. Mockingjay was my favorite book in the series. I cant wait to see how Francis elaborates on the war since its in 2 parts. A lot of things happen in the book that we dont know about because katniss is stuck in 13, which is my people think the book is boring, because we cant leave her POV. Like the rescue for example. We have no clue what happens and it happens so quick. I hope we get to see some of that in the movie.

  2. Do you think that Jennifer’s new shorter haircut which she is showing off currently on the front of September Vogue will carry forward into Mockingjay Part 1 filming? This could be a way of giving us a more defiant and “grown” up Katniss in district 13 as she becomes the Mockingjay for real!!

  3. What I’m most looking forward to is seeing what was going on with Effie the whole time. I love how genuinely close she became to Katniss and Peeta in CF, and I was beyond pleasantly surprised (and kind of impressed) when she popped up at the end of MJ. But it remained quite the mystery what the heck happened to her, and how Plutarch & Co. kept her from being executed like almost everyone else associated with Katniss, Peeta, or the Games.
    What I do know is that hijacked Peeta is going to utterly break my heart.😦

  4. Good point! I hadn’t actually thought about the opportunity to see more than Katniss’ POV. Agree that some scenes between him and Snow could help. Although I don’t think I can handle *seeing* Peeta’s torture… Bad enough to know it happens.

  5. I don’t think that Mockingjay will be split evenly regarding the number of pages. The number of pages is not the same as the amount of events – and I think that the last part of Mockingjay will need considerable expanding.By my estimation, everything that happens after Prim’s death needs to take up about half an hour of screentime. The natural split point, IMO, is after Katniss gets shot and District 2 sides with the rebels (the latter will require more scenes outside of Katniss’ POV). That way the first part would be about the war in the districts, and the second about the preparation for and the actual mission to the Capitol and its aftermath. In that case, Peeta’s role, even if they just stick with the book scenes, would consists of three TV appearances, him choking Katniss and at least one scene that shows him hijacked and allows an explanation what happened.

    But I agree that they will almost certainly show more scenes outside of Katniss’ POV, including scenes of imprisonment and torture in Capitol, and that we’ll get to see more of Peeta as well as some of Johanna and Annie, rather than just seeing the latter two at the end for the first time in the movie (which would considerably lower the emotional effect of their rescue and the Finnick/Annie reunion, which will work much better if we already get introduced to Annie).

    However, I think they will show only a part of what was going on, and will leave the hijacking mysterious enough so that people would still be surprised when Peeta attacks Katniss. (Peeta wasn’t always brainwashed, a lot of it was just torture – and not just physical torture of himself. Remember that he was forced to watch/listen as they tortured, mutilated and killed other people, like Lavinia and Darius. Who are, of course, not in the movies, but I hope they still have scenes where Peeta is forced to watch someone else be tortured, because this is so cruel, would make for powerful scenes, and it also makes sense to torture someone like Peeta that way, especially if they told him he was the reason they were tortured/killed, or if he just realized they were doing it for his sake. Also, he and Johanna could hear each other’s screams, which is also a part of psychological torture.)

    No, I certainly don’t think they’ll say: “Oh, so what, everyone knows what happens anyway”! The movies are not made just for the book fanbase. (Even though it often seems like a lot of fans think of movies as something that’s just like THG merchandise, a cool little thing to sell to the book fans so they can relive their memories of reading the books – as if THG is only for a closed fan club and isolated from the rest of the movie-going public!) They are, and certainly should be, made for everyone, and should be able to stand on their own, not as some sort of addition to the books. I certainly hope that CF and the MJ movies will not be seen just by the hardcore book fans, but by a lot of wider audience as well.

    I also wonder if the first or second MJ movie will also include Peeta in some dream or flashback scenes, to remind the viewers of his old personality and his previous relationship with Katniss, and make it clearer why she feels the way she feels about him, since there’s no narration to remind people (and CF would have, at that point, been a year or two years in the past).

  6. I am sure MJ Part 1 will show us what happens in the Capitol. I think the torture will be alluded to in some way, though certainly not in detail. The problem with graphic torture scenes (even if the movie was rated higher than PG-13) is that they can easily devolve into “torture porn”, shown from the POV of the torturer, not the victim, and serving to titilliate the audience, not have them sympathize with the victims.

    (Obligatory GOT reference: S3 showed several such torture scenes, which were not shown in the books; much as in MJ, the reader only finds out about the torture afterwards, and see the terrible effect it has had on the victim. The general consensus seems to be that these scenes were NOT handled well at all in the TV adaptation. I’d say this would be an example of what the MJ film-makers should NOT do — even in a PG-13 scaled-down version. This is NOT the time to push the borders of the PG-13 rating!)

    I think Effie’s story can go two ways. Either she will be held in the Capitol per book canon, and replace Darius/Lavinia as a person Peeta is forced to watch being tortured, or the movie will tweak book canon and have her be rescued and brought to D13, only to have her be locked up and possibly tortured in D13, either replacing or augmenting Katniss’s Prep Team. (Or, she’ll be really unlucky and wind up being tortured by BOTH sides.)

    I can also see the movie tweaking the book timeline, so that instead of Portia and Peeta’s prep team being executed AFTER Peeta “escapes”, they are executed in front of him BEFORE he does. Since we know a Portia was cast, though her role in THG was mostly as a glorified extra. (I’d wondered in the past if the MJ movie would have Cinna killed in front of Peeta, but as Lenny has said “we will see how he leaves the story” in CF, it seems that the last we see of him will be when the PKs beat him in front of Katniss right after she enters the launch tube).

    I think another change might be to show Annie and Peeta bonding in some way. That would certainly help explain the otherwise mysterious line Peeta says to Finnick in MJ, about taking Annie away from him if he isn’t nice to her. I also really hope Johanna’s head being shaved will make it, especially as I know Jena Malone once shaved her head for another role.

  7. Reading timetravelingbunny’s and satsumarena’s comments has made me a lot more excited about the possibilities of expansion of the Mockingjay’s story. I loved the first two books like most of the fandom but didn’t really hate or love Mockingjay. I respected Susanne Collins’ approach on how war and combat affects soldiers. But to really understand the complex mechanics of how war is manipulated by multiple parties, it needs a more 3rd person objective perspective. That’s my opinion.

    A big part of that is fleshing out the main power players: President Snow, Plutarch Heavensbee, President Coin, and President Paylor from District 8. President Snow and Plutarch have been getting some extra screen time just by looking at the CF trailers. Also President Coin has been attracting A-list casting such as Juliane Moore.

    However I am bit concerned that there has been no casting rumors or predictions for President Paylor. Her role as the antithesis to President Snow and Coin is not very well fleshed out in the books. Some may argue she doesn’t have that much power or influence in the war but she was a strong soldier who took no BS from anyone and had a very loyal following (which may be a bad or good thing). More importantly, she eventually *spoiler alert* ends up as the leader of Panem after the war *end of spoilers*.

    I am curious how the screenwriter Danny Strong will handle her character as either an equally important role as Snow, Coin and Plutarch or make her secondary. Or even worse, NON-EXISTENT. To me, she represents hope of a new leadership and type of rule after all the death and destruction caused by the war. She doesn’t have to be perfect by any means but just as reminder that there are still some good people out there. It may seem sappy and corny but after all the Peeta hijacking, Prim/Finnick dying, and Katniss/Johanna losing their minds; we sort of need it.

    1. I never thought about a possible expansion of Paylor as a character, but since she does become the freaking PRESIDENT OF PANEM at the end of the whole thing, I guess it would make sense if she got a couple extra scenes. There are two movies to fill, after all.

      Also, I love your username, it’s adorbs.🙂

      1. Haha thanks! I am a huge fan of Katniss’ and Buttercup’s relationship throughout the entire trilogy. Of course I know it won’t make the movies but it was such a touching part of the books.

        1. Re: “I know it won’t make the movies…”
          Well, not all of it, but I’m sure there will be bits here and there, like in the beginning of the first movie. I wouldn’t even be surprised if they include Crazy Cat (and the MJ movies could use every bit of lightness possible). And of course there’ll be THAT SCENE at the end of MJ Part II when Buttercup comes back to 12. And all of our souls will hurt.😦

          1. Haha, I mainly wanted the cat to be included just for the scene in MJ Part II. However with Madge, Darius, Bonny/Twill, and the Avox subplot gone…i’m not expecting much.

            1. Unlike all those characters, Buttercup was already introduced in the first movie, at the very beginning, and quite memorably so (Katniss threatened to cook him one day😉 ). They aren’t going to just drop him as if he never existed. And it’s really not hard to re-introduce him in the other movies, the audience won’t have to wonder “Wait, who’s this person now? Is it someone from the last movie, which I saw a year ago?” You don’t need a lot of exposition to explain that he’s Prim’s cat.

  8. These ideas for expanding the POV for Mockingjay are really interesting. Twirl4me raises an excellent good point about Paylor, who didn’t get much page-time in the books, either.

    Torture Effie twice??? Satsumarena have pity on poor Effie! I can’t believe I said that😉 but we do get a sense from the most recent trailer that she is actually capable of a little more empathy than her butterfly dress would suggest. It would be fascinating to use her as a way to show how the rebellion and war eventually hurt even the Capitol’s most selfish citizens and to generate enough viewer sympathy for the Capitol’s citizens to make Katniss’ final act understandable.

    I’m a big Buttercup fan and since he’s really Katniss’ alter ego I would be deeply upset if he gets cut from the storyline — or cooked!

  9. I hope we’ll be seeing a lot of Johanna Mason in the 2 Mockingjayparts. If Jena has to shave her head for the part, then i’m sure she’ll do that. I just hope she’s still looking beautiful enough in the movie. Go JENA Go!!!!!!!!!!!!

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