How 'Allegiant' & 'Ascendant' Should Break Up The 'Divergent' Books
If you're a fan of Veronica Roth's Divergent series, you have probably been eagerly awaiting the release of Allegiant. The third movie in the series is guaranteed to be as action-packed, suspenseful, and romantic as the first two, but the exact details will remain a mystery until you see it. As you probably know, the book has been split into two movies, so there's the question of what parts of the book Allegiant will be included in the movie and which parts will be saved for Ascendant.
Although I can speculate that the adaptation will cover approximately the first half of the book, it's hard to say exactly where it will end and what things (if any) will be changed so that the third film can transition smoothly into the fourth and final film. There are also some aspects of the book Allegiant that might be difficult to portray cinematically. For example, the novel is told from the perspectives of both Tris and Tobias, with the narrator switching each chapter. It would be a little tricky to represent this onscreen without totally veering from the format of the previous movies, so this and other aspects of the book Allegiant might get lost in translation. But there are still some other people, places and things that you can hope will make it from the pages of Allegiant to the big screen. Here the most important elements and how they should be broken down. Spoilers, of course.
The Plot Points That Belong In Allegiant:
The Mission Outside The Wall
At the end of Insurgent , we learned that the faction system was an experiment within the walled-up city of Chicago — and that the world still exists beyond the city's parameters. In Allegiant, Tris joins a mission to venture outside the walls, and the action unrolls from there. So this mission definitely needs to be included in the movie, or else Allegiant will be, well, pretty uneventful.
Tris Learning The Truth About Their Society
Tris learns the truth about how the "experiment" in Chicago came to be. Long ago, the US government had tried to modify people's genes to weed out the "bad" ones, but it went horribly wrong and led to a war between those who were "genetically damaged" and those who were "genetically pure." In an attempt to restore the purity of their race, the government put all of the "damaged" people in isolated cities until they bred out the "bad" genes and produced "genetically healed" humans — Divergents. And so, everything Tris knew about what it means to be Divergent is flipped on its head.
Amar's Quote About Genes
Tobias is shocked to discover that his former trainer Amar, who he believed to be dead, escaped Chicago and is actually alive and in the mainland. After Tris and Tobias learn the truth about the Purity War and their own Divergent status, Amar offers some words of wisdom. “Genes aren’t everything,” he says. “People, even genetically damaged people, make choices. That’s what matters.” This insight is so applicable to the real world, so I really hope it makes it to the movie.
Tris' Breakup With Tobias
There is a rising rebellion against the government, and Tris and Tobias take opposite sides in the conflict and end their relationship. This detail needs to make it to the movie because it's so shocking, and also because it would make such an epic breakup scene.
Tris' Discovery About The Bureau
Whoops, turns out that David (Jeff Daniels' character) is a little too concerned with genetic purity, and in fact intends to wipe out the memories of his population in order to begin the experiment again. Twist!
And What Should Be Left For Ascendant:
This is a natural fit for the final film of the series and I hope they don't Hollywood it up and change Tris' true ending. In the book, she dies by sacrificing herself for the greater good, which is a way nobler ending than if she and Tobias got married and rode off on a genetically modified pony.
The Faction System Being Abolished
Because of Tris' actions, the population doesn't have their memories erased, and a new peaceful society emerges. This aspect of the book is pretty damn important, or else Tris would have died in vain.
Four Spreading Tris' Ashes
In the epilogue, Tobias rides the zipline with Tris' ashes, scattering them over the city. It's a poignant visual which would be even more impactful onscreen.
Tobias' Last Quote
The book ends with some deep thoughts from Tobias, which I'm envisioning as a voiceover for the last shot of Ascendant:
"Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, every one. We can’t escape that damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other."
And cut to black.
So, the movie Ascendant has some pretty big shoes to fill based on everything that happened in the book and the previous movie. Will the script stay faithful to Veronica Roth's writing, or will it be totally different since Allegiant introduced some unexpected plot twists? Only one more year until we can find out...
Images: Lionsgate (6); Giphy (4)