Hunger Games: Catching Fire Cat Recast

Big news in the “Hunger Games” universe – there has been a casting shakeup… of the feline variety.

When fans head to the theater to see “Catching Fire” (it opens on Friday), they may notice one familiar, furry face has changed. Buttercup, Primrose Everdeen’s cat, has been recast.

In the first film, the cat was played by a black and white short hair, but for the “Catching Fire” and beyond, the cat will be an orange long hair – much more true to the animal author Suzanne Collins described in her books.

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In an interview with io9, director Francis Lawrence explained the change.

“That was a request from Nina the producer and Suzanne the author. They thought the cat from the first movie was not the way he was described in the book. And that had annoyed a bunch of fans, and things like that,” he said. “But it also just kind of bothered them that Buttercup was not a black and white cat. So I was happy to get one that felt like the Buttercup of the book.”

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The Buttercup switch has become a polarizing issue for many fans, according to Francis.

“It’s funny because now people are split. Some people think we should have continued on with what happened in the first movie, and some people are really happy,” he said. “You never win.”

-- Erin O’Sullivan

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