The next title that will try to break into the lucrative teen dystopia market currently ruled by The Hunger Games, is Summit Entertainment’s Divergent, which finally drops late next month. Part of the studio’s strategy is to target those viewers currently tuning into the Winter Olympics in Sochi. This extended promo will air during tonight’s coverage, or has aired/is airing depending on where you live. But we love you and don’t want you to have to sit through ice dancing or tandem luge (which I recently learned is totally a thing that exists in the world), so you can watch the video here, if you can fit it in between repeat viewings of the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer.
This latest video doesn’t shed any new light on the film, and, for the most part, is footage we’ve already seen. The focus is definitely on the action side of things, and, as usual, skirts the specifics of what being “Divergent” actually means, but that’s a topic the marketing has been avoiding thus far. The highlight of this video is star Shailene Woodley’s character, Beatrice “Tris” Prior, tackling a dog. And there are also multiple instances of what appears to be improvised fireworks, so there’s that. Let’s hope no one burns of their eyebrows.
Based on the best-selling novels by Veronica Roth, Divergent is set in a world where the populace is divided based on your dominant personality trait. I’m not sure exactly how that leads to a harmonious society, but we’ll probably find out when we watch the movie. But sometimes, an individual has equal aptitude for multiple groups, that means they’re divergent, which is apparently a big threat to this new way of life, and the powers that be try to wipe them all out. It’s up to Tris and her hunky new boyfriend, Four (Theo James) to save the day.
Here’s a video of Divergent’s main villain, Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet), talking vaguely about the whole situation. It’s mostly the same: divergents are a threat, she wants to wipe them all off the face of the Earth, that sort of thing. But, of course, Tris isn’t going to take this laying down, and isn’t going to live by her rules. This would be so much better if “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister was playing. That I could get behind. Overall, this has a serious pissy-teen-telling-off-mom vibe.
Out of the glut of this sort of movie, Divergent seems to have the best chance of succeeding where movies like The Host, Beautiful Creatures, I Am Number Four, Mortal Instruments, and many others have failed to find success. Summit is certainly pushing the film hard, and has been since the beginning. Though all of these titles are based on popular books, Roth’s novels are massively popular. They may not be as big as The Hunger Games, but they’re bigger than most, so there’s a huge built in audience. On top of that, it has a more recognizable cast than most competitors, including Winslet, Woodley, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Maggie Q, and Zoe Kravitz, and an established director, Neil Burger (Limitless), at the helm.
Whether or not all of this adds up to piles and piles of money remains to be seen. We’ll have to wait until Divergent opens on March 21 to find out.