Veronica Roth’s Divergent is not a book that comes off as unfilmable. From its opening pages to its dramatic, action-packed conclusion, this dystopian tale seems like it was always designed to be turned into a movie – which may be why Summit Entertainment bought the book’s film rights months before the novel was even published.
Given this, it’s not tough to pick out five scenes from Divergent that I can’t wait to see rendered on the big screen. (Caution: Book spoilers follow, of course.) Specifically:
Tris’s big jump into Dauntless
The story’s first real action setpiece – minus the aptitude test, which I’ll discuss in a bit – will set the tone for every scene set in the Dauntless faction. It’ll also be the first of many, many train-jumping scenes, which will automatically make it the best. (For real, Divergent should probably be subtitled “A Study in Jumping.”)
Christina’s gripping show of strength
When sadistic Eric punishes Tris’s new best friend by forcing her to dangle over Dauntless’s chasm, we really get a sense of how high the stakes are in Divergent’s world – and it’ll be suspense-filled even if the movie inevitably doesn’t spend a full five minutes on Christina’s plight.
The Ferris wheel scene
Love, Tris, and Four are in the air in this early scene, a milestone in our heroine’s budding relationship with her teacher. Fans are already grumbling that actor Theo James is too old to play the movie’s romantic lead; the filmmakers will have to be crazy careful to get this one right, but I’ve got a feeling they’ll pull it off.
The knife-throwing scene
Look at that still! How could you not be pumped for this one?
The coolest part of Divergent’s high-octane finale. Tris is drowning in a tank designed by brilliant villainess Jeanine when she’s rescued by an unexpected savior: her mild-mannered Abnegation mother, who has a secret history as a badass Dauntless member. And then Mrs. Prior dies. Given Ashley Judd’s casting, this one is going to be a doozy.
That said, there are also a few moments from Roth’s novel that may be tricky to translate properly. Chief among these will be the aptitude test, as well as all those fear simulations. In a world that is, for the most part, deadly serious, the spectacle of Tris trying to fight murderous birds or whatever has major cheese potential, especially if Summit is shooting for a PG-13 rating. On the other hand, they could also be too gruesome, which would be seriously off putting. The only other thing that’s giving me some pause is the scene in which we learn that Jeanine is the story’s true villain – it might end up just being a boring info dump, though the presence of gifted actors like Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet will certainly help.
Got anything to add to either list?