With yesterday’s news that The Hunger Games will head to ABC Family in 2014, one question came to mind: How will the film — which of course features violence and intense imagery — be edited for TV? When reached by EW, ABC Family acknowledged that it will likely have to edit Hunger Games for broadcast: “We don’t want to take away from what makes the audience connect with the film,” said the network in a statement, “and we will do our best to make as few edits as possible to maintain the integrity and essence of the film, both for content and length.”
So what scenes could you live without, and what absolutely must make the cut? Here’s my list to start (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!):
What I desperately need:
• The bloodbath at the Cornucopia that begins the Games. It’s one of the first true signs of violence in the film and certainly sets the tone for the impending brutality that is to come. Without it, the bleak nature of the Games might lose some of its poignancy.
• Though horribly vicious, Cato’s snapping of a young tribute’s neck shows how lethally compulsive he is, and helps viewers understand just how much of a threat he really is. In a way, it also legitimizes his demise.
• It’s tragically heartbreaking, but watching a 12-year-old Rue die after her sudden spearing through the stomach helps to show a softer side to Katniss.
• Gory, yes, but the close-ups of Peeta’s fatal flesh wounds are imperative to understanding how close to death he was, thus making it essential that Katniss risk returning to the Cornucopia to help him.
What I’m pretty sure I could live without:
• The footage of a previous Hunger Games (where a victor was crowned after using a brick to bash in the head of the last remaining tribute) could stand to be cut, as at this point in the film we’re only minutes away from watching the aforementioned Cornucopia carnage.
• Since the riot scene in District 11 never happened in the book, I could deal with seeing the first acts of rebellion getting axed in the television version.
• ABC Family is also cutting for “length,” and the training sequences in general seem to go on for a while — we don’t really need to see Peeta throw that giant metal ball.
That’s my list, PopWatchers, but what do you think? What other scenes, violent or not, would make your Hunger Games must list?