Actor Existence Failure: Phillip Seymour Hoffman died just a week before he would have finished filming his scenes for the two Mockingjay films. The studio is keeping mum about how this will affect them.
The film was banned in Vietnam. Officially, the ban was for showing youth violence, though it has more to do with Vietnam not being happy with a film that shows youngsters fighting back against a totalitarian state.
Strangely enough, the film was not banned in China itself, despite it being more authoritarian than Vietnam. This is possibly due to it being possible to interpret the film as a parable about "Western decadence".
The Character Died with Him: Averted. Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away in early February 2014, seven days away from completing filming on Mockingjay - Part 2 and he had already completed almost all of his scenes for Part 1. Early reports after his passing stated that the production crew planned to use CGI for the rest of his scenes, but a recent interview with director Francis Lawrence reveals that they plan to use only existing footage of Hoffman for scenes in which Plutarch appears in the background and to rewrite the rest of his dialogue scenes that he had yet to film so that his lines will be spoken by other characters.
At first, the film's creators considered casting an actual teen in the lead role (among others, Saoirse Ronan, Chloe Moretz, and Hailee Steinfeld were considered for Katniss' part). They finally settled with 21-year old Jennifer Lawrence to play 16-year old Katniss. Liam Hemsworth (Gale, 18) was 21 during filming, while Josh Hutcherson (Peeta, 16) was 19. Leven Rambin (Glimmer, 18) was 21 at the time.
Averted by Isabelle Fuhrman (Clove), Jacqueline Emerson (Foxface), Amandla Stenberg (Rue), and Willow Shields (Prim), aged 14, 16, 12, and 11 during production.
Katniss and Gale are brunettes played by blondes while Peeta is a blond played by a brunet.
There was a lot of initial displeasure that Josh Hutcherson didn't sport blue contacts for the films, since Peeta's eye-colour is often mentioned in the books. By the second film no one seemed to care anymore.
Many of the Capitol extras actually allowed their hair to be dyed those crazy colors for the movies. That is dedication.
Wes Bentley sported Seneca's beard for real.
Fake American: Given Panem is post-apocalyptic USA, Liam Hemsworth (Australian), Donald Sutherland (Canadian), Toby Jones (British), and Paula Malcomson (Irish) fit.
Fan Nickname: President Santa Claus, or Evil Santa, for President Snow.
The Other Darrin: In the Japanese dub, possibly due to licensing, Rue and Seneca's roles are recasted in the DVD/BD release of the movie in Japan, but the rest of the cast keeps their original dub voices from the theatrical version.
Appears to be the case with Donald Sutherland, who read the books and then sought the role of Snow by writing Gary Ross a letter where he delved into the character's motivations in great detail (which ended up being the basis for some of Snow's scenes in the first film). The DVD of the first film has a bonus feature of Sutherland reading the letter.
Elizabeth Banks, who plays Effie, actively sought the part, being a huge fan of the books. She's also a huge Hayffie shipper and has said in interviews that she's asked Suzanne Collins if the two can end up together in the final film. In the books they're never shown as romantically involved. She even gave her character in Pitch Perfect the surname Abernathy.
Throw It In: The extra scenes with President Snow and Seneca Crane are apparently the product of a lengthy letter Sutherland wrote to the director on his interpretation of the character of Snow after he read the original screenplay. Ross liked them so much that he wrote two scenes of character exposition exploring the themes of Sutherland's letter and added them to the script for the first movie, thus elevating Sutherland to the status of Cool Old Guy in real life. You can find his letter online, but the DVD special features has him actually reading it.
Working Title: The working title of the first novel was The Tribute of District Twelve. Some foreign editions do this, like the German release, Die Tribute Von Panem (The Tributes of Panem).