In the world of YA dystopia are legions of rabid fans, all too eager toes their favorite book series come alive on the silver screen, but utterly disappointed when the studio changes the story’s major (or minor) details. Divergent is no different, and with the new trailer being released, as well as information about the second “part” of the third installment, fans are equal parts excited and apprehensive.
For a casual fan like myself, who has read the books once and seen the first two films, Divergent and Insurgent, the trailer looks fantastic. Set in a dystopian Chicago post-apocalypse, the society is forced to remain within the city’s high, fortified walls, presumably for their safety. But in this installment, Allegiant, viewers see Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) scaling that wall and entering the unknown wider world.
The new film, set to be released in March 2016, is based on Veronica Roth’s book of the same name. However, the book’s events are to be split in two parts, as has become the norm of most YA-books-turned-film ever since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was split in two.
However, Divergent breaks the mold somewhat, by giving the fourth film, the second part, a different name. Instead of having the title “Allegiant Part 2,” the second part will be called Ascendant. This change, seemingly innocuous, carries many implications about what, if anything, the studio is going to change about the canon story.
Fans already saw winks of major change in the second installment Insurgent. Of the most notable and heavily-criticized changes were Tris’s ability to use a gun (she couldn’t in the book, as she was suffering from PTSD), the “secret box” that has to be opened by a Divergent alone, and the ending that shows swarms of citizens leaving the city when the walls come down.
Fans were not happy about those changes.
So the split is weighing heavy on the minds of some die-hard fans, who know that the ending to the book Allegiant may not, to say the least, be Hollywood-franchise-friendly. Without spoiling anything, I think that the name change points in that direction, that the studio will change the controversial, polarizing ending of that book into something more easily digestible and popular to casual moviegoers.
Until then, fans and casual viewers alike will have to content ourselves with the stunning footage above and hope that the studio does the story justice, however they choose to change the plot.