It’s not easy to dive headlong into a brand new YA film franchise, even when it hits the big screen by way of a blockbuster production packed with stars (rising and solid alike) and giant action set pieces. What if you haven’t read the book it’s all based on? What if the trailers have done nothing to educate you on how this new franchise is different than that other new YA franchise?
When it comes to ‘Divergent,’ the Shailene Woodley-starring film version of author Veronica Roth’s bestselling book trilogy of the same name, there are plenty of questions that might prove valuable to answer before getting involved in the new series, just so you know what you’re working with. What’s a “Tris”? What’s a “divergent”? Where is this thing set? Will I like it? Should I read the books?
Having read the books and having seen the movie, with those questions – and many more – in mind, we’re here to attempt to tell you everything you need to know about the world of ‘Divergent’ (including that, yes, that word gets thrown around a lot).
Springing forth from the same lineage of Katniss Everdeen, far removed from the toxically weak Bella Swan bloodline, ‘Divergent’ heroine Beatrice “Tris” Prior is well worth rooting for, even if her debut film isn’t as compelling as its leading lady. Based on Veronica Roth’s best-selling YA trilogy, Neil Burger’s film is cripplingly faithful to its source material, and although he and screenwriters Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor have plenty of rich material to pull from, the film’s inability to distill it down to its most essential bits makes for a strangely bloated and often flatlining final product.
Yet, for its dragging run time – nearly two and a half hours – and its repetitive nature, ‘Divergent’ should both thrill fans and (hopefully) excite newcomers who will leave the theater wanting to know where its open ending travels next.
Lionsgate seems determined to see the 'Divergent' film trilogy, starring Shailene Woodley, to the end, but it's going to have to do that without director Neil Burger. As the studio sets a release date for the third and final installment in the series, 'Allegiant,' Burger has bowed out of helming any forthcoming sequels.
The business of adapting bestselling young-adult books into movies can result in untold riches (see 'The Hunger Games' and 'Harry Potter') or it can result in something instantly and completely forgettable (does anyone remember 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones'?). The upcoming adaptation of Veronica Roth's novel is certainly hoping for the former, and unlike so much of the competition, the new 'Divergent' trailer makes it look like the film may have the pedigree to pull it off.
Thursday, Jul. 18 on Comic-Con 2013's bustling Hall H stage was home to two highlights from the young-adult movie genre's upcoming slate. Summit Entertainment, the studio behind 'The Twilight Saga,' kicked things off with panel presentations for 'Ender's Game' and 'Divergent,' both bringing with them a slew of guests and tons of updates, including the first footage from 'Divergent.'
Although 'The Hunger Games' seems to be doing an excellent job of filling the young adult movie void left by the conclusion of the 'Harry Potter' and 'Twilight' franchises, there's still plenty of room for others to rise to the occasion. Could the upcoming 'Divergent' be the next big thing? Maybe. We'll get our first inkling of what's to come with this one when the film's first footage premieres at Comic-Con 2013.
Some have been wondering if Shailene Woodley's starring role in 'Divergent' will transform her into the next big Young Adult movie sensation in the vein of Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart. Can the same now be said of Theo James, who has just been cast in the male lead?
Prepare yourself to hear a whole lot about 'Divergent' this year. The film, based on the first in a planned Young Adult novel trilogy, is being pegged as the next 'Hunger Games,' and its star, Shailene Woodley, could just be the next Jennifer Lawrence. Now the film gets a little closer to becoming a reality with the filling of three crucial supporting roles.
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