Veronica Roth talks about all the ways 'Insurgent' is different from the book
Ah, yes. It’s time again for the biannual “WAIT, that wasn’t in the book” conference that we all accidentally attend in theaters whenever a young adult dystopian novel gets hatched onto the big screen. If you happened to flock to a theater to see Shailene Woodley kicking butt and taking names this past week, you might have been in for quite a few of these surprises, which is exactly why Divergent author Veronica Roth spoke about all the ways the Insurgent movie is different from the book in an interview with Vulture. Suffice to say… spoilers ahoy, y’all. Read the rest at your own risk.
If you’ve already read Insurgent then you already were probably wondering how on earth they were going to adapt something so intense for the big screen, and Roth was upfront about saying that that was a concern for her too.
“The plot of Insurgent, more than the other books, is complicated. There are a lot of people with a lot of conflicting desires. There’s a lot going on. So I figured they would have to streamline it and simplify it,” Roth said.
So how exactly did they go about it? Even fans of the books who aren’t diehard Tris-ters will notice right away the presence of “the box”. This mysterious box can only be opened by somebody who is so Divergent that they pass all five faction tests — which, if you recall, Book Tris never did. But in order to simplify Jeannine’s specific hatred for Tris and Divergents in general, the movie decided to invent this Pandora’s box-esque plot twist, and make Tris even more of a target than she already was.
Although it does make the movie a lot tidier, Roth remarks that she didn’t make Tris fully Divergent in the book for a specific purpose: “The reason she’s not all five [factions] is just because she’s not superhuman. She’s got flaws, and those need to be reflected in the way that she’s appealing to the factions.”
Among others changes moviegoers will notice is the mood of the ending. Rather than shouting and rebelling, people are peacefully leaving the city. Roth isn’t entirely sure how they’re going to pick up Allegiant in the wake of this change, nor is she certain about two huge factors in the third installment: where they are actually going to cut the two-part third movie off, or whether or not Tris is going to meet the same fate she did in the books.
“I talked to Shailene [Woodley] about how she reacted to the ending, and she really enjoyed the way that it ended. I don’t know. I wrote Allegiant that way because I thought that was the way it needed to be told, and so I feel very strongly about it, obviously,” said Roth. “I know people feel strongly about it, too, and that’s fine. They’re allowed to feel however they want about it. I haven’t yet seen how they’re going to end it.”
Apparently fans have started a petition to get the filmmakers to make two different endings, which certainly would be a first for this kind of a film. Like the rest of us, Roth says we’ll just have to wait and see.