For fans of Veronica Roth’s “Divergent,” these last few days leading up to the release of the film adaptation are exquisitely emotional. Ooooh, the magic of a book brought to life! And ahhhh, the excitement of seeing its iconic, amazing scenes on the big screen!
But also: Blaaargh, the torment of worrying that some of those scenes aren’t going to make the cut.
Fortunately, a new Vulture interview with director Neil Burger has the advance scoop for avid “Divergent” fans on which moments from the literary source material they can look forward to seeing onscreen — and which ones, alas, did not make the final cut.
Keep reading for a roundup of the scenes you’ll be sorry to miss, and the ones you’ll be thrilled to see. Needless to say, there are spoilers ahead for those who haven’t read the book.
The Unkindest Cut
First, the bad news: The gruesome, graphic scene from the book in which Dauntless initiate Edward wakes up with a butter knife in his eyeball? That was one thing that every fan of the book got chills imagining onscreen — and it’s one thing you won’t be seeing.
Though the scene was shot, Burger revealed that time and narrative constraints kept it from making it into the final product. The good news is, there’s still a chance that you’ll get to enjoy that eye gouge someday; it is, after all, some primo material for a DVD extra.
Everybody Into The Chasm!
Meanwhile, the deadly, whitewater ravine that bisects the underground lair of the Dauntless faction — and the scene in which Christina is nearly thrown into it by Eric — did make it into the movie. You can thank the director for insisting on that; the original script didn’t include it, but he felt it was too iconic to leave out.
And a later confrontation in the same setting, where a pack of angry dudes attempts to toss Tris into the chasm, is also in the film, albeit slightly altered. In the book, that scene has a distinctly rapey vibe; in the movie, says Burger, the threat of violence was enough without adding sexual assault into the mix.
Freaky Fear Landscapes
We’ve already seen bits and pieces of the alternate-reality moments in “Divergent” courtesy of its trailers, but the director mentions that these scenes inside of Tris’s mind were some of his faves to direct — and that the part of her fear landscape involving birds is going to be a surreal, illogical, epic nightmare.
And finally, when it comes to one of the film’s most difficult-to-realize action scenes, Burger is no zipless schmuck. “Divergent” will, indeed, include the moment when Dauntless initiates take a zipline cruise off of Chicago’s John Hancock building and go flying over the city’s streets.
Best of all, you can count on that scene being not just loyal, but authentic: according to the director, they actually mounted the zipline on location and 200 feet in the air.
“Divergent” hits theaters on March 21.