‘The Hunger Games’ Author Demands a New Kitty for ‘Catching Fire’

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Orange cat vs. black cat
Orange cat vs. black cat

For those of you who are planning on seeing "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" when it opens next week (and that's probably about 98.9 percent of you), you may notice at least one character that's been recast: Buttercup the cat.

The pet of Primrose Everdeen (Willow Shields) made for a point of mild controversy in the first "Hunger Games" movie when it was revealed that director Gary Ross (or at least the casting director in charge of animals) had gone with a black-and-white cat rather than the yellow-coated feline described in Suzanne Collins' novel. Fans can stop hissing now, as that kitty's been fired and Buttercup is now portrayed by a more accurate furry thespian.

[Related: Jennifer Lawrence's Moving Exchange With Emotional Fan]

Who was responsible for fixing this casting faux pas? The author herself, according to "Catching Fire" director Francis Lawrence.

"That was a request from Nina [Jacobson] the producer and Suzanne the author," said Lawrence in a recent interview with io9. "That 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. So I was happy to get one that felt like the Buttercup of the book."

Interestingly enough, what's now playfully being referred to as 'The Buttercup Situation' made for the only creative request from the "Hunger Games" author. For the record, authors rarely get any say in the casting of screen adaptations of their work, though apparently that might only apply to human characters.

[Photos: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' London Red Carpet Premiere]

"That was, quite honestly, the only simple thing, the Buttercup situation," said Lawrence. "Everything else was working on the story. We worked closely with Suzanne, which was partly why that came up."

The casting change looks to have been the right decision, as it's undoubtedly what's contributing to the extremely positive early reviews of "Catching Fire" (wink). The film currently has a 94 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Cats are an essential part of the entire "Hunger Games" mythos, both official and fan-made, after all. Just look at this astonishing undertaking:

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" opens Nov. 22.

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