Nobody involved wanted to admit they didn't understand how a Mexican standoff worked.


Nobody involved wanted to admit they didn't understand how a Mexican standoff worked.

THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. POST-APOCALYPTIC CHICAGO

KATE WINSLET does a bunch of DOCTOR BREENING while her MINIONS search the ruins of ABNEGATION FACTION.

KATE WINSLET

(on huge monitors)

Citizens, you all know how we humans require oxygen to survive, and suffer discomfort when we catch fire. You also all know how this walled city separates the remnants of civilization into personality-based factions, but I’m going to remind you of the basic premise of our very lives because, hello new and/or forgetful viewers!

(waves)

Our five-faction system, including the selfless ruling faction Abnegation, is flawless and has always run super smoothly with no complaints from anybody. But recently a bunch of ambiguous-personality “divergents” staged a shameless attack on the helpless and vulnerable Abnegation, all but wiping them out, poor dears!

(pause)

And sure, my nerd faction Erudite MAY have spent the past few years systematically slandering and vilifying Abnegation for the sole purpose of making this attack seem justified, but we’ve now decided screw that, let’s just blame it all on these divergents nobody’s ever heard of before.

In the wreckage, KATE’S MINION JAI COURTNEY finds some kind of PENTAGONAL PAPERWEIGHT.

EXT. CULTY COMPOUND

Fugitive SHAILENE WOODLEY, her boyfriend THEO JAMES, her brother ANSEL ELGORT and an asshole MILES TELLER are all staying with the hippy-dippy AMITY FACTION.

MILES TELLER

Wait, I’m here? Why are you guys hanging out with the psychotic prick who repeatedly beat the crap out of Shailene last movie before happily participating in the villain’s big mass murder plot?

THEO JAMES

Because of the important narrative purpose served by you being near us for five minutes before fucking back off to be Kate’s flunky again.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Hey, check out my new pixie haircut! Not only does it help me keep from being recognized, it also symbolizes my maturation as a character! But mostly I just came off of that big cancer movie and I didn’t want to mess around with wigs for the whole fucking shoot.

Suddenly JAI and a bunch of EVIL GOONS show up in EVIL JEEPS! The FUGITIVES hide while JAI speaks with AMITY LEADER OCTAVIA SPENCER.

JAI COURTNEY

Sorry for literally driving straight through your fences, but we’ve got to meet our daily “act like total assholes” quota. Get everybody together to be tested for divergence.

OCTAVIA SPENCER

You’re kidding me. It’ll take days, maybe weeks to put the entire faction through that whole vision quest thing.

JAI COURTNEY

Fear not, after two hundred years of elaborate fever dream tests, we’ve suddenly instead got the ability to insta-test people by pointing this plastic circle at them!

OCTAVIA SPENCER

How convenient for you, and for our lazy, lazy writers.

Suddenly MILES tries to give up SHAILENE, THEO and ANSEL, and they make a run for it! They ESCAPE by jumping aboard a TRAIN.

JAI COURTNEY

Curses! No way could our jeeps catch up with a train going slow enough for people to climb aboard. Nor is there any way to anticipate where a train might be going! Foiled again!

But it turns out the TRAIN is already occupied by a bunch of FACTIONLESS HOBOS.

JONNY WESTON

Well looky here! If there’s anybody we homeless outcasts with no resources hate, it’s other homeless outcasts with no resources! RANDOM VIOLENCE TIME!

SHAILENE, THEO and ANSEL get into a FIGHT with about fifty FACTIONLESS, beating some of them to DEATH and throwing others out of the train to their DEATH.

THEO JAMES

Oh by the way, my mother is the leader of the factionless and I know she’d want me and my friends unharmed.

DEAD PEOPLE

WELL MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE OPENED WITH THAT.

INT. FACTIONLESS HEADQUARTERS

THEO is brought before his mother, NAOMI WATTS.

NAOMI WATTS

Welcome to our gigantic warehouse, where I rule over an army of attractive youths with hip clothes and semiautomatic weapons. I’m not sure that this movie is aware how homelessness works.

THEO JAMES

So you’re a nearly emotionless woman with a private army and a cold willingness to commit violence to achieve your ends, as played by a not-really-American actress who’s seriously slumming it?

NAOMI WATTS

That’s right, I’m pretty much a spare Kate Winslet in case we accidentally write her character into a corner and have to abruptly kill her off.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Come on, Theo, let’s go find the rest of the brave Dauntless faction. They’re staying with the obsessive truth-telling faction Candor, also known as the “thinking of five entire personality types is HARD” faction.

ANSEL ELGORT

Sorry guys, if you’re thinking of fighting Kate, I just don’t have the stomach for war. I’m going back to Abnegation, or rather the smoking crater where Abnegation used to be. Figure I’ll live in the rubble, see if I can help the corpses decompose.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

(sighs)

You’re actually going back to Erudite, aren’t you.

ANSEL ELGORT

Well I do have the stomach to be on the WINNING SIDE of a war.

INT. CANDOR HEADQUARTERS

As SHAILENE and THEO enter CANDOR, they get APPREHENDED and brought before CANDOR LEADER DANIEL DAE KIM.

DANIEL DAE KIM

You know, as the two most wanted fugitives in the world you might have thought twice about strolling into the section of the city where every single member of the judiciary system lives and works. We’re sending you to Erudite to face trial.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Wait, if you’re the law and order guys, why are you sending us to Nerd Central for our trial? That’d be like if a serial arsonist turned himself in to the FBI, so they shipped him off to be tried by NASA.

THEO JAMES

You should hold the trial here! Use your mind-altering truth drugs on us, and we’ll tell you about how we divergents ended the attack on Abnegation thanks to our superhuman resistance to mind-altering drugs!

DANIEL drugs THEO and SHAILENE, who then tell of how Erudite orchestrated the attack by brainwashing most of Dauntless.

DANIEL DAE KIM

Well this changes everything! The only thing the rest of Dauntless could tell us was that they’d been drugged and brainwashed. But now you tell us the guys behind it were the sole manufacturers of brainwash drugs? MIND BLOWN!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

So, wait a minute. Erudite used Dauntless to wipe out Abnegation, so obviously they don’t have the support of those factions anymore. Amity seemed to be on our side at the beginning of the movie, and of course the Factionless hated Erudite to begin with, and now Candor have found out the truth. So if Erudite don’t have the support of the government, the army, the legal system, the working class or even the homeless, how the hell are those lab-coat-wearing dweebs still a threat?

DANIEL DAE KIM

Who says they even are? Kate basically stands around in one room and she seems to send out like the same five or six guys on every divergent-hunting mission. Maybe they’re just half an office building’s worth of geeks trying to pretend they run the world, and this is secretly the most pathetic war in cinematic history.

INT. THAT ONE ROOM WE JUST MENTIONED

KATE is testing the PAPERWEIGHT on DIVERGENTS until they DROP DEAD.

KATE WINSLET

Damnit, I need to find a divergent who can open that puzzle box! Inside is a message from our city founders which I think will help us wipe out those divergent scum. But so far all I’ve succeeded in doing is killing a whole bunch of divergent scum! Useless!

MILES TELLER

Hang on, last movie I thought the only reason you were eliminating divergents was because their anti-brainwash powers could mess up your world domination plans. But now you’re motivated solely by your anti-divergent racism?

KATE WINSLET

Damn straight! I mean, think what a perversion of nature and danger to society you are if you’re not defined by a single character trait that fits neatly into one of our carefully-separated wedges of society!

MILES TELLER

What about people who do have a single character trait, but who then choose to spend their entire adult lives in an entirely conflicting society wedge?

KATE WINSLET

Oh well those guys are totally fine obviously.

(thinks)

Maybe some people are MORE divergent than others, and I need to find the person who’s the MOST divergent to open that box. Aaand, with me having just now thought up that theory, in the very next scene our personality scanning circles will suddenly have the ability to measure someone’s level of divergence to the nearest ten per cent.

MILES TELLER

So clearly we follow the Saturday morning cartoon philosophy of technological development. Step one: realize you need a machine that does something. Step two: oh look we have it now, neat.

INT. CANDOR HEADQUARTERS

One night JAI and a bunch of ERUDITE THUGS invade CANDOR, shooting everybody full of BALL BEARINGS that instantly knock you out unless you’re DIVERGENT (see: Saturday morning cartoon technology, referenced above).

SHAILENE WOODLEY

So what’s the official story here, guys? “No no, the technology faction had nothing to do with that advanced technology currently jammed into your neck, honest”?

JAI COURTNEY

Shut up! It’s real late and I’ve barely scratched my asshole quota for the day, so to make it up I’m going to straight-up murder anybody who doesn’t scan as one hundred per cent divergent, even though we only just started this percentage thing and couldn’t have any useful data yet on what level we need, or indeed what level is even possible.

He scans SHAILENE who turns out to be ONE HUNDRED PER CENT DIVERGENT.

JAI COURTNEY

Well that doesn’t make any sense. How could you be “one hundred per cent divergent” when in your original personality test you didn’t test positive for either Amity or Candor? You’re short two entire factions there.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Oh come on, of course it’s me. I’m a YA protagonist, we all default to “messiah” in the end.

But before JAI can take SHAILENE away, THEO kills him and rescues her.

THEO JAMES

Sorry, I would have let you get out of that yourself, but then your actions would have impacted the plot in a meaningful way, and I know you’ve been trying to cut down on that.

INT. ERUDITE LAB

KATE has found out that SHAILENE is her CHOSEN ONE.

KATE WINSLET

Miles, you know Shailene, what’s the best way to root her out?

MILES TELLER

Why the hell are you asking the guy who’s had an aloof antagonistic relationship with her for the past year or so, when her brother is in like the next room?

KATE WINSLET

Because we haven’t actually revealed to the audience that Ansel’s back with us yet, so I guess I have to just pretend he’s not.

MILES TELLER

Okay, you can use her guilt complex against her. She blames herself for her parents’ death. Like all the time. In dialogue. In dreams. On and on about it, until you just want to slap her whiny little face.

KATE WINSLET

This looks like a job for yet more murdering!

INT. CANDOR HEADQUARTERS

Three members of DAUNTLESS walk up to a ledge in a zombie-like trance.

BRAINWASHED KIDS

HEY EVERYBODY, ERUDITE HERE. UNTIL YOU HAND OVER SHAILENE WE’RE JUST GONNA KEEP CONTROLLING PEOPLE INTO KILLING THEMSELVES. THAT’S RIGHT, THOSE BALL BEARING THINGS HAVE MIND-CONTROL POWERS. SERIOUSLY, NOT EVEN HUBERT FARNSWORTH PULLS THIS MANY CONVENIENT INVENTIONS COMPLETELY OUT OF HIS ASS.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Crap, two of us need to hurry up to that ledge to save those three suiciders!

THEO JAMES

Yes, you do that! It’ll free up the rest of the brave hero faction to stand around staring in slack-jawed befuddlement.

SHAILENE and ANOTHER DAUNTLESS manage to save TWO OUT OF THREE. SHAILENE flies in the face of MEATLOAF by considering this to be BAD.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Screw it, I’m turning myself in before there are more deaths!

THEO JAMES

Maybe we should come up with a better plan than handing the mass-murdering villain the very thing that appears to form the crux of her evil genocidal schemes.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Get bent, I can’t let anybody else get hurt because of me. Not after my parents died trying to save me!

THEO JAMES

Actually you might remember that your dad died trying to save everybody in your entire faction while you just happened to be around, you egocentric douche.

Over THEO’S protests, SHAILENE goes and turns herself in.

INT. ERUDITE LAB

KATE plugs SHAILENE into the PAPERWEIGHT.

KATE WINSLET

So this is a device the founders left for us, to be opened only when the faction system irreparably broke down.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

But the faction system was working fine until Erudite went crazy and started murdering everybody. So you’ve broken the faction system in an effort to find and activate a device you need to fix the broken faction system?

KATE WINSLET

Huh, when you put it like that it’s kind of a pointless recursive mess, isn’t it? Kinda like firing yourself out of a cannon so that you can get to the hospital as quickly as possible to get your cannon-related injuries seen to. Oh well.

KATE fires up the PAPERWEIGHT and SHAILENE enters a SIMULATION where HER MOTHER ASHLEY JUDD is trapped in a FLYING BUILDING that’s ON FIRE.

ASHLEY JUDD

HELP ME SHAILENE! DON’T LET ME DIE AGAIN LIKE YOU DID LAST TIME YOU MATRICIDAL BITCH!

(looks around)

And, no Tony Goldwyn. So just like last movie suggested, you just plain don’t give a shit about your dad, huh?

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Ah, so we’re doing the Dauntless challenge first. Right then, let’s get the one challenge that has any real chance of being thrilling out of the way.

SHAILENE saves ASHLEY with a bunch of SPIDER-MAN PARKOUR, and completes the DAUNTLESS CHALLENGE!

ASHLEY JUDD

Boy that was brave, Shailene!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

I’m not brave, I’m stupid and I suck and also smell. I try to act like I’m brave, but in reality I’m scared all the time and don’t want all this awful shit to keep happening to me, but I just grit my teeth and face every challenge without hesitation despite my fear, like the coward that I am!

ASHLEY JUDD

Congratulations, a basic misunderstanding of what bravery is counts as honesty, so you pass the Candor challenge!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Phew, good thing I just happened to take an offhand compliment as a cue to describe all my insecurities and fears in rambling detail.

Suddenly, SHAILENE is woken out of the simulation when THEO and a bunch of DAUNTLESS and FACTIONLESS storm the Erudite compound and rescue her!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Waaaiit a minute, this is still the simulation, isn’t it. By figuring that out, I passed the Erudite test! And so did the audience, several minutes before I did!

THEO JAMES

And a moment ago you had the chance to kill Miles but didn’t, which means you passed the Abnegation test! Because apparently not murdering some unarmed dude just for being a dick = selflessness.

They wake up SHAILENE for real to keep her brain from frying, at which point it turns out that THEO really DID try to rescue her but was captured. If it turned out at this point that this was yet ANOTHER layer of the simulation, it would have been UNEXPECTED and INTERESTING, which is probably why that DOESN’T HAPPEN.

KATE WINSLET

Now to climax this simulation and movie: the test for Amity, the faction absolutely nobody gives a shit about! Now before I put you into the test for good-natured friendliness, let me just stand here for a while throwing insults in your face, which I would totally do in real life.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

So this is the test for Amity? I just gotta not attack somebody I hate? Well gee, I seriously wonder if I can do the EXACT SAME THING that I did to pass the Abnegation test.

(pause)

But as it happens, I don’t seem to even realize that I’m back in the simulation already, which means I’ve kind of un-passed the Erudite challenge if you think about it. DIE BITCH!

SHAILENE attacks KATE, which causes the simulation to start DISINTEGRATING INCEPTION-STYLE, then SHAILENE DIES.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

O I am dead. No seriously. This movie would totally pull that kind of shit, I promise. Signed on for two more sequels, me? Psh!

They haul off SHAILENE’S CORPSE. But then MILES revives her and frees THEO!

MILES TELLER

Surprise, I just faked your death to save you!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Wait, WHAT?! You’re a fucking good guy all of a sudden? WHY. Why would you EVER DO THIS. Justify it, I fucking dare you.

MILES TELLER

Ugh, I hope I just didn’t understand this properly. Because as far as I can tell I saved you because you didn’t fake shoot me in the simulation.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

You thought you owed me one because I didn’t murder you in a fucking DREAM? Holy fuck but that’s moronic.

THEO JAMES

Come on guys, we need to get out of here.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Actually I’ve decided that Kate is probably wrong and the founders’ message is most likely a good thing for divergents, so I’m going to finish the simulation after all.

THEO JAMES

(bangs head on wall)

Right, so after this whole idiotic rescue mission plot point, you’re just going to walk right in and do what Kate wanted in the first place anyway.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Deciding to do exactly what the villain wants is the only important choice I’m allowed to make in this movie. Might as well do it twice.

They hook SHAILENE up to the PAPERWEIGHT and restart the AMITY SIMULATION.

KATE WINSLET

Hi Shailene. You suck, you parent-murdering piece of shit.

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Joke’s on you! Since I’ve already done this one, I know I just have to stand here and not fight you. It’s kind of cheating, but who cares, I win!

KATE WINSLET

Ah, but this time, my wangsty self-loathing friend, instead of me you have to face... NEGA SHAILENE!

SHAILENE is confronted with her EVIL TWIN!

SHAILENE WOODLEY

...Okay, but the solution is still not to fight her, right?

NEGA SHAILENE

Psh, I doubt they’re just going to copy-paste the exact same boss fight from the original Prince of Persia.

(steps into Shailene and vanishes)

...Or maybe that’s exactly what they’re going to do.

The PAPERWEIGHT is activated and a HOLOGRAPHIC JANET McTEER starts EXPOSITIONING.

JANET MCTEER

Hi there, I’m one of the founders of this city, and if you check my character name you’ll find out I’m also an ancestor of Shailene, because God forbid we put in a single fucking plot point that doesn’t come back to her in some way.

(pause)

So here’s the deal. The world outside your walls isn’t actually an irradiated wasteland or whatever, it’s actually fully populated. Although I also claim that we’ve destroyed ourselves through war, so maybe it is an irradiated wasteland. But we must have been at least stable enough to construct your whole society as a sociological experiment, so probably not? It’s frustratingly vague.

(pause)

So yeah, you guys are just an experiment, sorry. We set up a city populated entirely with people who have only one personality trait, in the belief that this society would eventually produce that elusive ideal: a person with more than one personality trait! That’s right, divergents are the whole point of your entire fucking civilization, so FUCK YOU, Kate!

(pause)

Although if that’s the case, I’m not sure why we designed this message box so that it would kill divergents. Or why we said it was to be opened only in the event of the total breakdown of society. That seems misleading and contradictory. Sorry if it helped to cause any sort of genocidal war or anything. Peace out!

KATE WINSLET

Ah fuck, my entire belief system has been revealed as a sham to myself and everybody, and as a result there’s nothing left that I can even hope to accomplish. I guess my character just got written into a corner.

(pause)

AW SHI-

(abruptly killed off)

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Okay, so apparently the mere fact that people with actual personalities exist means this experiment was a wild success and now we’re supposed to go out and... end all wars? With, uh, our personality-having powers?

THEO JAMES

Sure, let’s do this thing! I’m excited to go open those doors and head out into a world that they just told us was being completely torn apart by war! I bet we find nothing horrible or unpleasant out there at all.

They OPEN THE GATES and head outside, only to discover... TWO WHOLE MORE SEQUELS IN THIS FRANCHISE!

THEO JAMES

I WAS WRONG! DEAR GOD, I WAS SO WROOOONG!

END.

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