"Next stop: Branson, Missouri!"


"Next stop: Branson, Missouri!"

DIVERGENT

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. POST-APOCALYPTIC CHICAGO

Every 16 YEAR OLD in the city is gathered together to take the mandatory "WHICH LORD OF THE RINGS CHARACTER ARE YOU?" FACEBOOK TEST. SHAILENE WOODLEY is there WAITING IN LINE with her brother ANSEL ELGORT.

ANSEL ELGORT

Hey, why not kick off Testing Day with an orientation video about our city's five factions? It’s the perfect excuse to introduce the audience to our rigidly divided society. Just don't do some lazy voiceover, it's--

SHAILENE WOODLEY (V.O.)

Post-apocalyptic Chicago is divided into five factions.

(pan over people looking homeless while helping the homeless)

First, the selfless Abnegation, which I was born into, and nobody in their right mind would want to be. They act as the government, because seriously who the fuck would want this?

(pan over people reading books and looking at magnets)

Then, the scientific Erudite, who all dress like The Blue Ranger because brains.

(pan over kids doing dat backflip doe)

Next, the brave Dauntless, who are the police and army, which is weird since I think the whole idea is that the faction system ensures a lack of major conflict. I guess there's some kind of vague threat beyond our city walls that they protect us from despite nobody knowing dick about it?

(pan over people in suits pointing fingers and arguing)

Then, the honest Candor, who act as society's lawyers which, again, why do we need them, and why aren't they running the government?

(pan over hippies harvesting grains)

Finally, there's Amity, who I'm pretty sure all work, unprotected, just outside of those walls keeping that vague terrible threat at bay. They hug a lot and smile all the time, and aren't you glad as shit that there's not a single one of them in this movie?

(pause)

Anyway, the faction system works perfectly because everyone in our society is defined by exactly one personality trait.

ALSEL ELGORT

Like the Smurfs.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

No, not like—

(realizing)

Huh. Anyway, today’s test is supposed to tell us which faction we’re perfect for.

RANDOM ERUDITE KID

(out of nowhere)

We hate Abnegation! We hate that you control the government! Erudite should be in control!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Okay, thanks for shoehorning that in. I think everyone's up to speed, let the testing begin.

INT. TESTING ROOM

SHAILENE is strapped to a dentist chair. MAGGIE Q gives her a shot of ROMULAN ALE, and SHAILENE starts TRIPPING BALLS.

SHAILENE’S MIRROR IMAGE

Choose between this raw steak or this sharp knife!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

What? Choices require contexts. I chose neither, this is stupid.

MAGGIE Q

You just defied the testing simulation! You must be Divergent!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

What’s Divergent?

MAGGIE Q

You don’t fit into any of our rigid factions. You’re an unique individual, a precious little snowflake, and people will hate you for being different.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

As a teenager, this completely speaks to me! And to all of the teenagers who downloaded this book because iBooks recommended it after they gave Hunger Games five stars!

INT. CHOOSING CEREMONY

SHAILENE and ANSEL are in a crowded assembly hall with their mother ASHLEY JUDD and their father TONY GOLDWYN. Erudite leader KATE WINSLET approaches.

KATE WINSLET

I am in this movie. Good chance I'll be important, so don't forget.

KATE wanders away.

ASHLEY JUDD

Shailene, I just want you to know that I love you no matter what faction you choose today.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Thanks, mom. Have I mentioned how much I admire the Dauntless for their lust for life?

ASHLEY JUDD

Every fucking second of the movie so far, yes.

Abnegation leader RAY STEVENSON takes the stage.

RAY STEVENSON

Yesterday, your drug-induced personality tests told you which faction you fit into. But the test is non-binding. You’re free to choose a different faction today if you want. If you hate your parents, that is. You don’t hate your parents, do you?

Various TEENAGERS slit their palms to choose their PERMANENT FACTIONS and also JUST TO FEEL SOMETHING AGAIN, GOD, NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Gosh, this society is so tightly structured around our factions, and here I stand unsure of what choice to make. Will I defy society's mores and choose something other than the faction into which I was born?

A SHITLOAD of kids choose new factions.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Oh. Okay so maybe it's not that rare, but I have to face the fact that I'm betraying my family and I'll be the sole reason we're split up--

ANSEL ELGORT

I choose Erudite!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Oh. Fuck it then, I choose Dauntless!

TONY GOLDWYN

Alright, your mother and I will basically never see either of you again unless we break the law, don't bother saying goodbye or anything. We'll just return to our lives of servitude and not even having lamps or mirrors. Don't worry about us, we've got plenty of saltine crackers to eat and copies of the phone book to read.

EXT. DAUNTLESS HEADQUARTERS

SHAILENE, ZOE KRAVITZ, and all the DAUNTLESS RECRUITS leap from a MOVING TRAIN onto the ROOF of Dauntless Headquarters.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Hey, someone died at this point in the book. Are we just going to skip over that?

ZOE KRAVITZ

The book offs more characters than Game of Thrones. The movie is made for 13-year-old girls. It’s more neutered than Bob Barker’s Chihuahua singing John Mayer at a Twilight convention.

The RECRUITS meet their new leaders, JAI COURTNEY and THEO JAMES.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Jai Courtney? Fuck, who the hell are you related to, why does Hollywood insist on making you a thing?

JAI COURTNEY

Don't sass me! If there's one thing we can't stand in our group of kids defined, literally, as "Incapable of being intimidated or discouraged; Invulnerable to fear", it's questioning fearsome authority figures! From this point on, you will follow all orders you are given!

THEO JAMES

What we're looking for in Dauntless is people who aren't afraid to stand up for their fellow citizens, but do not ever stand up for your fellow recruits! I hope your responsibilities are clear now, because those of you who fail will be banished or killed.

JAI COURTNEY

Now that you new recruits have proven your bravery by jumping off things, it’s time to prove your bravery by jumping off different things! Who wants to be first?

SHAILENE volunteers because she is the MAIN CHARACTER and the only person to deduce that the Dauntless Leaders probably aren't going to immediately require their fifty new recruits to jump to their deaths.

THEO JAMES

Alright everyone, Dauntless-born go with Jai, everyone else come with me. I’m going to teach you firearms, knife-throwing, and hand-to-hand combat, except that Jai Courtney is actually going to do all those things.

INT. TRAINING ROOM

SHAILENE, ZOE, and various INDISTINGUISHABLE DARK-HAIRED BOYS are ready to START TRAINING.

JAI COURTNEY

Listen up, pussies! Lesson one is fist-fighting! In the future, we defend ourselves using a stance in which our fists are pointed at our own faces! And when you strike, make sure you do so from above, telegraphing your move and leaving yourself open to counterattack! It's future stuff, don't question it!

SHAILENE gets the SHIT beaten out of her MULTIPLE TIMES until she WAKES UP in the INFIRMARY.

ZOE KRAVITZ

Are you okay? You’ve been unconscious for 24 hours.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Twenty-four hours?! That’s called a fucking coma! No, I’m not okay!

(pause)

Now I’m okay. What’s next?

EXT. DRAINED MARSH THAT WAS ONCE LAKE MICHIGAN

THEO JAMES

Okay, we’re playing "capture the flag" with neuro-darts that simulate the pain of getting shot. Jai Courtney and his team are hiding somewhere out there, and we’ve got to blah, blah, blah...

While EVERYONE ELSE discusses strategy, SHAILENE is the only one to think of the brilliant tactic of getting a higher vantage point, so she wanders away and starts climbing the RUSTY RUINS of the NAVY PIER FERRIS WHEEL. Suddenly, THEO is right behind her.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

You’re scared of heights!

THEO JAMES

Yeah, so?

SHAILENE WOODLEY

I’m just letting the audience know because there’s no sign of it in your face or voice. Are you sure you’re not Kristen Stewart in drag?

THEO JAMES

Just see if you can spot the flag. It glows, and nobody has ever thought to put it inside a box or something.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Yeah, my Superman vision lets me zoom in right through the window where they’ve stashed it, like a mile away.

THEO JAMES

Well, that’s convenient.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Not as convenient as--

CUT TO:

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Okay, I’m in the room with the flag now.

MUCH LARGER RECRUIT

Damn! For some reason our capture the flag rules do not require returning to base with the enemy flag, so you win!

RANDOM DAUNTLESS KID

Gosh, you’re swell, Shailene! Wanna zipline off the Hancock Building with us?

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Cool. Will it signal my transition from wishy-washy Abnegation pushover to self-confident Dauntless master of my own fate?

RANDOM DAUNTLESS KID

Close, it'll eat up six minutes of screen time!

INT. TESTING ROOM

SHAILENE is once again strapped to a dentist chair. THEO has an elaborate high-tech SYRINGE GUN like you see in sci-fi movies and NOWHERE ELSE, filled with a GREEN LIQUID.

THEO JAMES

This is phase two of your Dauntless training. This neuro-chemical causes you to hallucinate your deepest fears. You can tell it does something different than the one in the first testing scene because it’s a different cartoon color, Kryptonite Green.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Holy shit, what? Why do we even need an army? Fill a couple of those dart guns with this shit, and you've now defeated every other army ever, non-lethally. Why are we wasting time with this faction crap, we've invented the cure for war!

THEO INJECTS SHAILENE. Suddenly, she finds herself in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S THE BIRDS.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Help! My greatest fear is being stuck in a much better movie!

SHAILENE uses her MAGICAL DIVERGENT POWERS to dive through the ground away from the birds into the DEPTHS of an ENDLESS OCEAN... although her next-greatest fear is DROWNING, so, smooth move.

THEO JAMES

You manipulated the fear simulation! You’re divergent!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Yeah? So’s your mother!

THEO JAMES

Actually, we wrote her out of this movie despite the major role she plays in the sequels. Now be careful. As a divergent, you’re so good at these fear simulations that the other recruits are going to be jealous.

INT. DAUNTLESS HEADQUARTERS

MASKED RECRUITS grab SHAILENE and try to throw her into a CHASM to her DEATH! She manages to UNMASK one of her ASSAILANTS in the FIGHT!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Gasp! It’s Miles Teller or Ben Lloyd-Hughes or possibly Christian Madsen!

(pause)

Looking back, it would have been a good idea to cast some actors that don't all look exactly the same.

ONE OF THOSE GUYS

Shailene, I’m so sorry, I got jealous because of how awesome you are! I can understand if you never want to see me again, though it will be impossible since one of your best friends has my exact face.

INT. TESTING ROOM

THEO JAMES

I’m going to inject myself with green kryptonite and then you can join me in my own hallucinatory fear landscape. In other words, pretty much the world's worst first date.

THEO and SHAILENE are suddenly on a 50-story high CATWALK, yeah, on a CATWALK, yeah, they shake their little tush up on the CATWALK.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

This is just a dream. We can just jump off, or sit here forever, or upload kung fu into our brains.

THEO JAMES

You're talking like a Divergent. A true Dauntless would defeat this simulation, but in some arbitrarily different way that doesn't require basically ignoring the requirements of the challenge.

In his hallucination, THEO is confronted with an INNOCENT WOMAN he’s been ORDERED TO KILL.

THEO JAMES

In this fear, I ignore the requirements of the challenge by killing the woman but not looking at her.

Next, THEO has to confront his ABUSIVE FATHER... Abnegation leader RAY STEVENSON!

THEO JAMES

You know what, I’m tired of sleepwalking through this movie. This is my big chance to prove my acting chops with a meaningful confron--

SHAILENE WOODLEY

I already kicked his ass for you. Can we just move on already?

EXT. DAUNTLESS HEADQUARTERS

THEO is chilling out on the ROOF, leaning on the EDGE, as anyone with a CRIPPLING FEAR OF HEIGHTS would do.

THEO JAMES

Look, I found this syringe of brown kryptonite. Kate Winslet is shipping it in by the truck load. With it, she could brainwash our entire faction into becoming her own personal army!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Do you realize what this means?! The Brainy Smurfs are going to use the Toughy Smurfs to overthrow the Wimpy Smurfs!

THEO JAMES

Holy shit! Let’s do absolutely nothing with this information!

INT. FINAL EXAM ROOM

KATE WINSLET is personally administering the DAUNTLESS FINAL EXAM, in which the RECRUITS must face all their greatest fears IN A ROW.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

(hallucinating)

I'm trapped in a glass box filling with water! A Divergent would break the breakable glass, but a Dauntless would shove her jacket into the pipe delivering the water! It's like the logic riddle from Labyrinth, except as written by someone with no grasp of logic!

KATE WINSLET

Good job. You must now face your GREATEST FEAR!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Oh no! My greatest fear is being discovered as Divergent! Since everyone is watching my dream on a monitor, there's no way around the fact that this will expose me!

KATE WINSLET

Hmm. It says here your greatest fear is being raped by Theo James.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

What? That can't be right. The Divergent thing has been my one driving motivator for most of the movie. And I've been sleeping in Theo's bed for like a week.

KATE WINSLET

Fears conquered! Congrats, you're now Dauntless! Here’s a brown kryptonite injection. Everyone’s getting one. Nothing to worry about unless you found out what they're being used for, which you did.

SHAILENE wakes up the next morning and discovers EVERYONE ELSE acting like BRAINWASHED ZOMBIES.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Wait, should I not have just gone about the rest of my day yesterday like normal and gone to bed without doing or saying anything about the evil brainwashing injections I saw everyone get?

THEO JAMES

Huh, never occurred to me to do anything else either. Oops. Anyway, since we’re both divergent, we’re immune to the brown kryptonite. But we have no choice but to play along or they’ll kill us on the spot.

The DAUNTLESS ARMY rounds up all the ABNEGATION FAMILIES and lines them up for EXECUTION.

JAI COURTNEY

Kate didn’t have to brainwash me because I’m evil enough to go along with her plan just for shits and giggles. In fact, I'm going to kill Theo! Every time I kill an innocent, I get to shove another hunk of metal into my fucking stupid face!

THEO, pretending to be brainwashed, obeys. SHAILENE walks right next to him.

JAI COURTNEY

So, am I supposed to pretend I don’t see her, or what?

SHAILENE WOODLEY

(whistles innocently)

JAI COURTNEY

Because she’s, like, RIGHT THERE, clearly not a brainwashed zombie.

SHAILENE suddenly shoots JAI in the leg! This accomplishes NOTHING, as SHAILENE and THEO are immediately CAPTURED. THEO is taken back to Dauntless Headquarters, but SHAILENE is saved by ASHLEY JUDD!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Mom! You’re a badass! You were raised Dauntless! We have so much to talk about now, I can't wait to explore a new relationship between us!

ASHELY JUDD

Gasp! It’s Miles Teller or Ben Lloyd-Hughes or possibly Christian Madsen!

ASHLEY JUDD is gunned down! SHAILENE seizes the moment with a SURPRISINGLY POWERFUL PERFORMANCE! Apparently this sudden display of ACTING TALENT confuses the BAD GUYS so much that they STOP TRYING TO KILL HER and let her GET AWAY.

INT. ABNEGATION SAFE HOUSE

SHAILENE arrives at the SAFE HOUSE where her FATHER and BROTHER are hiding with SEVERAL ABNEGATION FAMILIES, including RAY STEVENSON.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

We have to go attack Dauntless headquarters and reprogram the computer that’s controlling the brainwashed soldiers!

ABNEGATION FAMILIES

We’re with you, Shailene!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Great, if your name is in the opening credits, come with me. Everyone else, cease to exist.

INT. DAUNTLESS HEADQUARTERS

SHAILENE, ANSEL ELGORT, TONY GOLDWYN, and RAY STEVENSON fight their way through the halls of Dauntless Headquarters... where TONY is KILLED in a shootout with guards. Everyone looks to SHAILENE to see if she can equal her earlier performance when her mom died.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

(shrugs)

Eh, shit happens. Let’s go.

In the control room, SHAILENE discovers THEO, now brainwashed due to even-browner kryptonite. He fights SHAILENE and she deliberately gives him the chance to SHOOT HER IN THE HEAD, but only if he’s LOOKING HER IN THE EYE.

THEO JAMES

Annnnnd I’m cured!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Yay! Now I’m gonna kick Kate Winslet’s ass, as she's the one behind all of this and also her acting skills serve as a constant reminder that the entire principal cast walked in off the set of the Disney channel!

She DOES.

KATE WINSLET

It doesn’t matter what you do to me, I’ll never un-program the Dauntless from slaughtering the Abnegation!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

You will with this vial of brown kryptonite I literally just found lying on the floor!

SHAILENE injects KATE, who then FREES THE DAUNTLESS.

KATE WINSLET

You'd think "put the syringes full of brainwashing toxin in a locked box" would occur to the leader of the smart faction, but I guess I'm no match for the same teenager who had to be told three times to pull the brake on the zipline heading into a solid brick wall.

INT. EPILOGUE

SHAILENE, THEO, ANSEL, and RAY are riding the TRAIN to the outskirts of CHICAGO.

SHAILENE WOODLEY (V.O.)

We’re going to flee the city and seek lives of freedom somewhere else. Where will fate take us? Will we ever return to Chicago? Only time will tell.

THEO JAMES

Check it out -- $56 million opening weekend!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Time has told. See you bitches next March for Divergent 2.

END

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