13 Book to Movie Changes in ‘Insurgent’ (MOVIE SPOILERS)

‘Insurgent’ is out and we’ve got a lot to say about it! One is the amount of changes this movie had compared to the book. So just what did they change in the ‘Insurgent’ movie? Well, look no further! We’ve compiled a list of the changes between the book and the movie. MOVIE AND ALLEGIANT SPOILERS […]


‘Insurgent’ is out and we’ve got a lot to say about it! One is the amount of changes this movie had compared to the book. So just what did they change in the ‘Insurgent’ movie? Well, look no further! We’ve compiled a list of the changes between the book and the movie.


1. The Divergent Box

jeanine loves her box so much

This one is almost entirely created out of thin air. A special box that only special divergents can open has been found beneath the Prior home. This box is said to contain special information concerning the divergents.

While the box is nonexistent in the book, Tris and co are eager to figure out the knowledge that Jeanine has concerning their society. The box seems to have been a way to materialize this information.

2. Not all divergents are equal (100% Divergent and the Divergent Detector)

Divergent Detector

Some people are more divergent than others. This is especially seen with the Erudite’s handy new invention which allows them to test the divergence of an individual. This device is not at all in the book and is unique to the movie. From this, we learn that Jeanine is seeking someone who is 100% divergent. This, of course, just happens to be Harry Potter, the Chosen One Tris Prior.

3. Marcus Eaton

One of the driving forces in the Insurgent book is the tension built around Four’s father, Marcus. Marcus is very persistant about stopping Jeanine and he knows that Tris is the key to doing that. Toward the end of the book, Marcus convinces Tris to help him save Jeanine so they can preserve important information about their society. He tells Tris that this is what her parents died for.

In the movie, almost all of this is cut out. Marcus is only in the beginning of the movie. Like in the book, he tries to convey the larger implications of the Priors’ sacrifice, but he does so toward the opening of the film and without much success. Furthermore, Marcus actually sacrifices himself to allow Tris, Four, and Caleb to escape. Marcus is shot by a Dauntless member, although whether he is killed or put under using some sort of serum is not clear.

4. Factionless Train Battle Royale

Who is Edgar in Insurgent? Many fans worried he was a new lover interest for Tris. They had nothing to worry about! Edgar is anything but Tris’s friend in ‘Insurgent’. Rather, he seems to be something of a ring leader amongst the factionless. An entire fight scene between Tris, Four, Caleb and the factionless is added into the movie.

Also worth noting is that Caleb seems to have actually killed someone in this scene.

5. Caleb asks to go back to Abnegation

Caleb Prior in Insurgent

In the movie, Caleb tells Tris and Four that he’s leaving to go back home to Abnegation. In the book, Tris sends Caleb to stay with Abnegation refugees. While this is one of the smaller changes, it leads up to the same plot twist: Caleb is working with Jeanine.

6. Christina doesn’t know that Will is dead

Christina in Insurgent

In the book, upon seeing Tris, one of the first things Christina mentions is that Will is dead. Tris tells Christina that she already knows this, but not why. Of course, the reason is because Tris killed Will at the end of Divergent. In the movie, Christina has no idea that Will is dead. She instead asks Tris if she’s seen or heard from him.

7. Four asks Jack Kang for the truth serum

Jack Kang in Insurgent

When they arrive at Candor, Tris and Four are forced to undergo a truth serum test to see if they’re dangerous. In the movie, Jack Kang wants to take them to a council (which doesn’t seem exist in the books) and have them judged there. Four has to convince Jack to use the serum on them rather than take them to the council where Jeanine will find them.

8. Tris being 100% divergent

The fact that there are levels of divergence is already something not in the book (and something discussed above), but the mere fact that Tris is 100% divergent changes things in the plot. Most notable is that Jeanine suddenly zeroes in on Tris. In the book, Jeanine forces people to kill themselves until she gets a divergent test subject. In the movie, they’ll kill themselves only if Tris turns herself in.

9. No new Dauntless leaders

Tobias Eaton is not amused

Four and Tori are elected as leaders of the refugee Dauntless group. This is completely cut out from the movie.

10. No attempt to save Jeanine’s life

Also briefly discussed above, there’s no attempt to save Jeanine’s life. In the book, Tori and Four (now Dauntless leaders) decide to team up with the Factionless to kill Jeanine. Marcus convinces Tris that this is a bad idea, and Tris attempts to save Jeanine in fear that important information will be lost if she’s dead. This is completely cut out from the movie, save the Dauntless eventually teaming with the Factionless.

11. Tori doesn’t get to kill Jeanine

Tori and Uriah in Insurgent

Tori plays a large role in the Insurgent book but barely appears in the movie. Apart from becoming a Dauntless leader, Tori vows to kill Jeanine in revenge of her brother’s death. Yet in the movie, Jeanine’s death is saved for the final scene. And rather than Tori stabbing Jeanine, Evelyn shoots Jeanine in the back of the head, remarking that Jeanine will never know what’s beyond the walls.

12. The video message is part of the box’s simulation and… is that Edith Prior?

Is there no Edith Prior in ‘Insurgent’? In the book, the woman in the video message says that she will join the faction-system in the city under the name Edith Prior. In the movie, there’s no mention of the name Edith Prior and she suggests that she never went into the city, but stayed outside observing. What’s more is that in the movie, the video becomes part of the simulation that Tris is forced to complete.

13. The ending is completely different

The ending is completely different from the book. It appears that the entire city is being granted access beyond the wall. This is problematic as this is one of the larger conflicts in Allegiant. In fact, it eventually leads to a civil war among the factions and the Factionless. But if everyone is happily holding hands to the exit, then what exactly will be going on in ‘Allegiant Part 1’ and ‘Part 2’?


Saul Marquez founded Bookstacked in 2014 and serves as the site's Editor-in-Chief. He primarily covers news for Bookstacked. He also co-hosts Bookmarked: A YA Book Podcast.

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    Rebeca Flores • 9 years ago

    I feel the same way about the ending, it’s really different than the one in the book. Much was cut off, important stuff. I have no clue what they’ll do in Allegiant. I wanted more Uriah!

    • SAULMARQ • 9 years ago

      Yeah, the ending was the biggest disappointment for me. I’m curious to see how they make Allegiant work.