The big-screen adaptation of Insurgent, the second book in Veronica Roth’s urban fantasy series Divergent, in which society is divided into five distinct factions according to personality traits, hits theaters on March 20, 2015. Cast members Shailene Woodley and Theo James reprise their roles as Tris and Four, with Kate Winslet returning as Jeanine and Ansel Elgort as Caleb. The Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment film is directed by Robert Schwentke, who takes over for Neil Burger, director of Divergent, which grossed just over $150 million domestically. The film opens where Divergent left off, with Tris and Four on the run following the uprising in Chicago.
Media buzz for the film has been growing steadily, with some sources speculating that Lionsgate has retooled its promotional campaigns to reach a larger male audience. Trailers for the film have focused largely on action sequences that feature a buffed-up Tris with a more androgynous haircut, lots of explosions, and impressive stunt-work.
In recent months, YouTube has posted behind-the-scenes looks at the film and on March 10, the HBO documentary program First Look will air an episode devoted to Insurgent, showing interviews with cast members, scenes from the film, and insight into how stunt sequences were created. Click through for a preview.
Also making waves across the media is news that Samsung and Lionsgate have teamed to create a four-minute virtual reality experience, titled “Shatter Reality,” that enables viewers to step into the world of Insurgent by using Gear VR headset and Samsung devices.
But for fans of Roth’s books, discussion about the film may have less to do with bells and whistles and more to do with the movie diverging from the text itself. On various social media sites, readers have been weighing in about deleted and added scenes, the removal of supporting characters, and other changes to the film. Trailers haven’t shied from showing that Insurgent on screen may be somewhat different from Insurgent on the page – one widely discussed addition to the film includes a high-tech box that holds particular significance for Jeanine and which doesn’t appear in any of the books.
On her Tumblr, Roth recently addressed the topic of the mysterious box and other changes that were made to her story for the second film. Hypable reported that Roth had trepidations about the changes but that after seeing the film, she is satisfied that the adjustments were fair and necessary: “Insurgent, the book, has a complicated plot – a lot of moving parts, a lot of ups and downs. That sort of thing can work in a book, but if it’s translated directly to the screen, it makes for a messy, confusing movie. The changes that were made streamline the story so it makes sense for this new format; in other words, they work.”
With production for Allegiant Part 1 in the works for a 2016 release, some fans have raised the possibility that the movie might alter the somewhat controversial ending of Allegiant; spoiler alert in link. A petition circulating on Change.org suggests that the theatrical release need not change the ending, but that an alternative (i.e. happy) ending be offered in the DVD extras.
On the book front, HarperCollins released a movie tie-in edition of Insurgent earlier this month. In conjunction with the film’s release, Veronica Roth will be making appearances in Chicago and New York City, appearing at the Tivoli Theatre in Naperville, Ill., on March 14 and at Barnes & Noble Union Square in New York on March 15.