‘Insurgent‘ author Veronica Roth admits that it was “jarring” to discover certain changes made to the movie adaptation of her book, particularly the box. But she also thinks the changes were necessary. In her new interview with Vulture, Roth discusses her reaction to some of the sizeable ‘Insurgent‘ movie changes, and even talks about ‘Allegiant Part 1,’ and ‘Allegiant Part 2.’
Heads-up: If you haven’t read ‘Allegiant‘ then some of this will be spoilery for you. Same goes for if you haven’t watched the ‘Insurgent‘ movie yet.
Her thoughts on the addition of the box:
The box. Yes. That was the biggest change, I think. So, just to back up a little bit, when I first learned that Insurgent was green-lit and that they were going to make it, it occurred to me that they were going to have to change a lot about it. 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. I didn’t know exactly how they would do that, but the box is the way they decided to. So the good thing about it is that it gives Jeanine a lot of motivation for targeting Tris specifically, and for targeting Divergents generally. We get to know her reasons for doing that in the book, but those would be hard to make it onscreen. This gives us a visual way of understanding her motivation.
And it puts all the simulations in Insurgent in one place, because Tris has some simulations when she’s trapped in Erudite, and she kind of goes under one when she breaks into Jeanine’s office. So the box puts all these things in one place, and I thought it was a good solution to the problems the plot presents, as far as the movie adaptation goes. And that’s why it didn’t bother me as much as maybe I would have thought it would. Anytime you see big changes, you’re like, “Whoa … What did I do wrong?” [Laughs.] But mostly I feel like if it works in the movie, then it makes the movie stronger, and we can focus more on the characters as a result. That’s important.
On the changes made to the ‘Insurgent‘ ending, and how they all peacefully leave the city:
Um, yeah. I guess. I don’t know if they’re necessarily leaving the city. Tris certainly hasn’t left yet, so that part of the story hasn’t happened. I’m just speculating, I don’t really know what they’re going to do yet, but I think they’ll still have to deal with that. Because there’s a lot going in that early part, before they leave the city and figure out what’s out there. I think Tris will still have to go through all the conflicts that are happening inside the city, in the wake of Evelyn taking over. But I think it makes a lot of sense [to have a different ending in the film] because in the book, we’re kind of seeing it with Tris, so we don’t see everyone’s reaction. We only see the people in that room with her. But when you’re showing a bigger world, you can show that the people closer to the fence are straight-up running to it, and that makes sense to me, because that’s the first thing I would do: “Okay! Let’s go see what’s out there.”
On where she would want to split Allegiant part 1 and Allegiant part 2:
I don’t know. For me, it’s one story, because if it hadn’t been, I would have split it. [Laughs.] It does seem to me that Allegiant has two major arcs, dealing with the aftermath of Insurgent inside the city, and what happens once they go outside. There are a couple places where they could split it, but I’m not exactly sure how they will do it at this point. I’m curious to see how it goes!
With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it was so necessary, and maybe I feel that way because I’m such a crazy fangirl, but I felt like that really worked, splitting it. And each unit felt complete. When I saw Part 1, and Voldemort was casting that spell that lights up the sky, I was just like, “Oh my God! This is amazing!” So in that sense, it really worked for that. I would hope that if they split something, it’s because it’s necessary to tell the whole story.
The Divergent series author also tells Vulture that she feels “very strongly” about the Allegiant ending, despite the fact that there’s a petition swirling the Internet to have it changed. Veronica reveals that she spoke to Shailene Woodley about the ending and that she really enjoyed it as well.
My honest opinion? It might seem harsh, but I think it’s absolutely absurd that people are trying to have the ending of a story that an author wrote changed (and must be somewhat insulting to Roth?). The author created Tris, and in the end she decided to make her give her life in an act of heroism. I personally prefer books that have a more realistic ending, whether it means killing off a main character or not. It’s not nice when a character you’ve grown to love dies, but I think people need to stop being so soft, suck it up, and accept that Tris dies. Again, I know it’s harsh, but I’ve been irked by this for a while (and the fact that the Allegiant book got far worse ratings because of Roth’s decision to kill off Tris). The book and the story and the writing were just as amazing as they were in the first two books — the bad reviews aren’t warranted if they were given just because of the ending. If the book evoked emotion, then Veronica Roth did her job as an author.
You can read Veronica Roth’s entire interview over at Vulture!