Veronica Roth Film Adaptations 🎥

Veronica Roth’s works, such as ‘Insurgent,’ ‘Allegiant,’ and her best seller, ‘Divergent,’ have been given screen adaptations

Veronica Roth

American Novelist

Veronica Roth is one of the pioneers of the Young Adult Dystopian Fiction Genre. Since her first book ‘Divergent’ shot her to fame in 2011, she has published 9 books. Her best works are adventurous, engaging, gripping, and controversial. These qualities make them well-suited for adaptation on the big screen.

Divergent (2014)

Divergent is a gripping dystopian thriller that explores a world divided by strict societal factions, where one’s identity and future are determined by a singular choice. Set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago, the story follows Beatrice Prior, a brave teenager who discovers she possesses qualities of multiple factions, making her a rare and dangerous anomaly known as a Divergent.

The film cast Shailene Woodley and Theo James as Tris and Four. The roles of Tori, Christina, and Caleb went to Maggie Q, Zoë Kravitz, and Ansel Elgort, respectively. Ray Stevenson and Jai Courtney joined the cast as Marcus Eaton and Eric. Miles Teller and Kate Winslet were also cast as Peter and Jeanine Matthews.

Upon its release in July 2014, Divergent received mixed reviews from critics. Most review aggregating sites rated it as an average movie, with a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 5.40, with an approval rating of 41%, while Metacritic gave it a 48 out of 100 score. CinemaScore gave the film more positive reviews, with it being more popular among their younger female reviewers.

Viewers and critics alike criticized Divergent for its character development, which they found lacking and shallow. While the central characters held promise, their growth and motivations were deemed underdeveloped, resulting in a disconnect that hindered emotional engagement. The plot was also critiqued for being too similar to the plots of other young adult movies of the era, including The Hunger Games.

Insurgent (2003) 

After the mixed reviews and moderate commercial success achieved by Veronica Roth’s debut novel ‘Divergent,’ Lionsgate Pictures committed to making a sequel based on the second book ‘Insurgent.’ Enter a world of chaos and rebellion in which the battle for survival takes an electrifying twist. Set in a dystopian future, this gripping sci-fi thriller it continues with Tris’ story as she fearlessly defies the oppressive forces that threaten to tear her society apart.

Shailene Woodley reprised the role of the teenager Beatrice “Tris” Prior as she grapples with power struggles and social upheaval following the coup she masterminded with her group. She is labeled a threat to the faction system due to her divergence, making her a target of the oppressive Erudite faction led by Jeanine Matthews. With the help of her allies, including Four, Tris embarks on a dangerous journey to uncover the truth behind the factions’ creation and to prevent Jeanine’s plans for domination.

Even though Shailene Woodley was praised for her reprisal of the teenage protagonist, Tris, Insurgent was still plagued by average reviews from the audience and critics alike. However, some other critics gave it grudging positive reviews. Kevin P. Sullivan of Entertainment Weekly wrote, “Taken for what it is, Insurgent is a vast improvement over the franchise’s first installment, mostly thanks to expansion in two arenas: budget and scope.”

Allegiant (2016)

The screen adaptation of ‘Allegiant,’ the concluding book of author Veronica Roth’s young adult dystopian series, was greenlit by Lions Gate Pictures in January 2015, and principal photography began in Atlanta, Georgia, in May 2015. The production team also decided to split the material into two films: Allegiant and Ascendant.

The film follows Tris and Four as they venture beyond the wall surrounding their city to discover a new society. They learn that their city was part of an experiment and encounter a society divided into genetically “pure” individuals and those who are considered genetically damaged. Tris and Four become involved in a rebellion against the oppressive leader of this new society and uncover the truth about their origins. As they navigate this new society, they face challenges, uncover secrets, and make difficult choices that could shape the future.

Allegiant was directed by Robert Schwentke, with Shailene Woodley and Theo James continuing their roles as Tris and Four. Hollywood stars like Bill Skarsgard, and Naomi Watts also joined the cast. The film was released on March 18, 2016, in theaters and received generally negative reviews from critics, who criticized the film’s lack of originality, character development, and Lion’s Gate’s decision to split the film into two parts.

Allegiant was a Box Office bomb and failed in both the domestic and international markets. It made only  $11.9 million on its opening day, which is 43% less than the previous film, Insurgent, made on its opening day. Due to Allegiant‘s failure at the Box Office, Lion’s Gate’s stocks declined by 3.3%, which prompted the studio to shelve production for Ascendant and produce a television series spinoff instead.


How many of Veronica Roth’s books have been adapted for television?

Three of Veronica Roth’s books; ‘Divergent,’ ‘Insurgent,’ and ‘Allegiant‘ have been adapted into movies, produced by Lion’s Gate Pictures.

Were the Divergent book series adaptations successes?

The film adaptations of the Divergent series experienced mixed success. The first film, Divergent, was relatively successful both critically and commercially. The second film, Insurgent, saw a drop in critical reception compared to the first film. However, it still managed to perform decently at the box office, although not reaching the same heights as its predecessor. The third film, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, received the worst reviews and also tanked at the Box Office.

What year was the Divergent series first adapted to film?

Divergent,’ the first book in Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, was first adapted to film in 2011. The film was released in 2014.

Who directed the most critically acclaimed adaptation of the ‘Divergent‘ series?

Although the Divergent movie received mixed reviews from viewers and critics, it is the most critically acclaimed movie in the series. It was directed by Niel Burger.

About Michael Chude
Michael Chude graduated with a BSc in Parasitology and Entomology. He has years of experience writing flash fiction and dissecting books with his book club members. He is also an avid reader who loves great stories and breathtaking world-building.
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