It’s hard out there for an adaptation director. No matter how masterful of a movie you make, someone (and you just know there’s going to be someone) will complain that the film doesn’t hew close enough to the source material. Or that their favorite scene was cut. Or that the protagonist is supposed to be 5’8″ not 5’7″. And on. And on. And on. So we must recognize “Divergent” helmer Neil Burger, who despite knowing he can’t please everyone is trying his darndest to do just that.
“Obviously a movie is a little bit different than a book and certain things will be changed and people will be like, ’Where’s the…’ but mostly we have it in,” Neil told VH1’s Sabrina Rojas Weiss while chatting about the film at San Diego Comic-Con.
“Actually, I added quite a few things back from the script that was first presented to me,” he continued. “I was like, ’Where’s the zip-line? Where’s Christina being hung over the chasm?’ So we worked those back in, which the movie is stuffed full of events, but they’re events that we love from the book.”
Of course, much of the credit is also due to author Veronica Roth, who wrote an engrossing and highly enjoyable dystopian drama to begin with.
“I think the book works as a personal journey, as creating a particular world, and so then we just have to figure out how to make it into a movie,” Neil explained. “I feel like the book in the most basic sense—this sounds ridiculous—but it’s incredibly important: It has an incredible beginning, middle and end. There’s an incredible journey Tris takes, an incredible journey society goes through—how it falls apart and goes into war. It just works.”
“Divergent,” starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James, opens March 21, 2014.
Are you even more excited for “Divergent” hearing what Neil has to say about the script? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!