UPDATE:  Apparently the studio didn’t like people seeing  Ian Joyner’s concept art that they didn’t use.  His gallery of the images now reads: “We had a request from the studio to not show this work at this time. I will update this page if/when things change.”  Given that the io9 article has had over 33K views, and the art is still there for viewing/fuskering [update 5/26: io9 article now deleted] and isn’t going to just disappear from the internet, I’m not sure what point they are making besides strong-arming an artist.  Chalk it up as another incident that shows how out of touch with reality Hollywood is.

Original post from before the art was taken down:

Unused Hunger Games concept art would have made the final arena scenes better

In my review of The Hunger Games film, I wrote that I was a bit disappointed with the sanitization of, and seemingly unnecessary changes to, the end scenes in the arena.  The menacing yet generic look of the canine muttations in the movie was an especially disappointing shift from the book for me because it removes an element of how nasty in terms of psychological warfare the Capitol is, and also how technologically sophisticated.  So, I’m even more disappointed to find (via io9) that the original film artwork actually incorporated the dead tribute look in pretty awesome fashion.  Here’s a few pics of Ian Joyner’s concept art for the film.



You can see more in Joyner’s gallery here (or maybe not thanks to the studio).  As you can see from his note, he was a bit dismayed by the direction they went too (also altered as of mid-day on 4/10/12).

I’m not sure why the director/art director/producers decided against this route.  Even if the technology couldn’t fully render Joyner’s vision for the mutts realistically (so far as CGI goes), at least the human-looking eyes could have been pulled off, which would fit perfectly with the question raised in the second book of what exactly the Capitol did to make them look like tributes (Recall Peeta’s claim it was just their eyes).  Too bad; makes me all:

Until I get a cease and desist/take down order, here’s the rest:

  1. sarahsss says:

    I assumed they made the change for the sake of time, but you are totally right. These mock-ups would have been much better in the film and the change does lessen the Capitol’s malevolence.

    • nightwork says:

      From an interview with director Gary Ross (http://screenrant.com/hunger-games-interviews-gary-ross-rothc-162268/):

      “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.”

  2. Scarlett Forest says:

    very nice I like the way you used the characters build and structure into the mutants

  3. ECVtalks says:

    Thanks @nightwork for posting Gary Ross’ explanation which still doesn’t justify not having the eyes. Simple addition of a line from Seneca Crane in the game center to add a tribute’s eyes (say Glimmer or Rue) when the gamemaker made the dog would address the hybrid issue and not slow down the movie while simultaneously leaving the way open for the deep psychological damage explored in the second book/movie.