In an interview, producer Nina Jacobson reveals four elements of the book that won't be included in the movie due to time constraints.
1. Madge, the mayor of District 12's daughter. Jacobson says they wanted to make sure viewers who didn't read the book would be able to understand the intensity of Katniss and Prim's relationship. Instead of Madge giving the mockingjay pin to Katniss before the games, Prim does.
My thoughts: Understandable. Madge is a very likable character because her family is powerful in District 12 yet has compassion for the lowly residents of the district. However, I think Jacobson is correct in assuming that audience members might need an extra reason to understand Katniss' connection with Rue in the arena as a reflection of her relationship with her sister.
2. Avoxes, capitol servants who were punished by having their tongues removed. They will be present in the film as Katniss and Peeta's servants, but elaboration will be lacking. I doubt they will develop the story of how Katniss recognizes her red-headed avox from the woods outside District 12, which causes her a major freakout before the games.
My thoughts: Katniss' connection to her avox serves as one of her first realizations of the horror that will occur in the arena. I'm sure that they will find other ways to convey the terrifying nature of the Capitol though. Impact on the overall story is likely minimal.
3. The prep team. Similar to the avoxes, we will meet them, but their characters will not be developed.
My thoughts: Ultimately, the prep team will have to become more major characters because of their role in the third book. I'm not entirely opposed to holding off on the development, but they will have some work to do in the second movie. Cinna is obviously the star of the show.
4. The high tech gadgetry of the Capitol. Jacobson cites the example of having a hot meal appear at the press of a button. She says they wanted the Capitol to seem menacing and terrifying, not fanciful.
My thoughts: With the omission of details about the avoxes, there is a need for making the Capitol seem frightening. However, I don't think the gadgetry detracts from that. The Capitol is fanciful to its residents, and the tributes get a taste of what life as a Capitol resident is like on their way to the games. Out of all the missing elements, this is the one I will miss most. I was looking forward to seeing some impressive special effects.
Thoughts? What do you think you'll miss most?