What's the rule about spoilers if the movie is based on a book? That's probably debatable, especially when we consider that most adaptations take some liberties with the source material, which leaves some wiggle room for a possible twist or two. That's apparently not going to be the case with Jai Courtney's Divergent character Eric. The actor was asked about his role in the upcoming Divergent sequel, Insurgent and he answered without hesitation.
It's at this point that we'll offer our own spoiler warning. This article reveals a major plot point from Insurgent, both the book and the film. So if you haven't read Veronica Roth's book but plan to see the sequel, or you have read the book but don't want to know anything about the feature adaptation, read no further!
Super Hero Hype was cautious about the way they phrased their question to Jai Courtney, asking him if "the arc of Eric" will "coincide with the arc in the books." It's a general enough question, and Courtney wasted no time getting to the point...
As in, "Do I die?" Yes. Yeah there’s no spoilers there ’cause it was already written in a different medium, so I’m happy to say that. It’s cool, we just wrapped on that the other week.
Ok, time out. Is it really not a spoiler, just because the character dies in the book? I guess that's debatable. After all, who's to say they weren't going to change Eric's arc for the film somehow and maybe keep him around through the two-part Allegiant adaptation? But on the other hand, having read the book and knowing that Eric dies, it's not like this piece of information is a huge surprise. It's just confirmation really, and at the very least, it allows Jai Courtney to speak openly about his character.
So, ok. No major harm. (But I reserve the right to feel differently about book-to-screen spoilers related to the lead characters, particularly as it relates to the final two movies. If they're going to make any drastic changes to Allegiant, I don't want to know until I see it.)
Eric is a supporting character in this dystopian young adult story. He was introduced in Divergent as one of the Dauntless faction leaders, where Shailene Woodley's Tris is an initiate. Unlike Theo James' Four, whom Tris eventually warms up to, Eric ends up living up to the dark side he presents from the start as the first part of the story draws to a close.
Courtney talked to SHH about being able to come back to do the second film, which is something he's never gotten to do before. And he seems pretty happy with the direction Neil Burger took with his character in Divergent.
I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed being that cold and nasty. It’s good because he’s so dead. I wrestled with that originally, but that was a testament to Neil’s vision. You can throw different shades in there, but I was glad he pushed me to create the character the way he did ’cause it worked the second time around. It’s that subtle material, it’s quite fun to do stuff like that rather than make it so obvious.
It's definitely a different side of Jai Courtney than what we saw of him as the relatively gregarious gladiator Varro in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, or Jack McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard. From Courtney's comments, it sounds like Insurgent director Robert Schwentke is running with Neil Burger's vision, at least as it relates to Eric's subtle "cold and nasty" side. And it also sounds like Jai Courtney is happier with the role he got to play in Divergent than Miles Teller is. So that's something.
Insurgent arrives in theaters March 20, 2015.