Joyner Designs’ Ian Joyner – a character designer, illustrator and conceptual artist – worked on the “muttations” for The Hunger Games movie and posted graphic designs of the early concepts he developed for the creatures on his website.
Tasked with designing the ‘muttations’, the idea was that these creatures were the fallen children brought back as horrible mockeries of themselves, forcing the survivors to deal with old friends and foes in a whole new way.
Here is just a small sample of the work I did on the film, from the very first pitch to the ‘final’ design. Sadly, it appears they’ve changed the designs pretty drastically later in film production.
Check out the pics below (click on each for larger versions) to see the progression of the look of the muttations, from early graphic renderings to modelling them after the Tributes at the end (including comparisons to the actors’ faces).
As Ian Joyner stated, the muttations used in the movie ended up looking quite different, especially since they were no longer representing specific Tributes. Gary Ross actually talked about why this decision was made the other day:
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.
But it’s interesting to not only see the various concept designs for the mutts, but to also learn that they were originally testing out the idea of having each mutt represent a Tribute.