With the release of Divergent in about a week or so, we’ll know whether Lionsgate has another successful young adult film franchise on their hands. Along with The Hunger Games, Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment seems to be cornering the market for the young adult audience. At the moment, there are only three highly successful YA film franchises out there: Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight. Divergent is looking to join the ranks of the elite with very strong tracking numbers, but its star has been talking smack about one of its predecessors — the Twilight films.
In an interview with E! Online, Shailene Woodley takes down The Twilight Saga for setting an unhealthy example for its young female fans:
‘Twilight, I’m sorry, is about a very unhealthy, toxic relationship,’ Woodley says of the romance between Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, played by Stewart and her real-life ex Robert Pattinson. ‘She falls in love with this guy and the second he leaves her, her life is over and she’s going to kill herself! What message are we sending to young people? That is not going to help this world evolve.’
I saw all five of the Twilight movies in theaters when they were released, and I can honestly tell you that a majority of them are just terrible, terrible movies. There are some good moments in the series, like the ends of both Breaking Dawn Part One and Part Two, but for the most part, they are not very good movies despite the high quality directors behind them — Catherine Hardwicke, Chris Weitz, David Slade, and Bill Condon. I agree with Ms. Woodley, we can do better as moviegoers than The Twilight Saga.
Young adult film franchises such as Harry Potter and The Hunger Games are definitely of higher quality, but I’m not sure the same can be said about Divergent. I have yet to watch the new movie, so I can’t speak on its quality, but from all of the movie’s marketing, it doesn’t look very good at all. Divergent seems closer to The Host — another Stephenie Meyer film adaptation — than The Hunger Games. But that’s just from the marketing. I’ll reserve judgement until I actually watch the movie.
Divergent is set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago, where people are separated into five distinct factions based on dominant personality traits. But some are unique and cannot be classified. These people are labeled “Divergent” and have no place in society. The film’s story follows Beatrice “Tris” Prior, who is discovered to be divergent and must figure out how to survive in her dystopian world.
Divergent also stars Kate Winslet, Ansel Elgort, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Maggie Q, Jai Courtney, Tony Goldwyn, Ashley Judd, and Mekhi Phifer. Divergent hits theaters everywhere on March 21, in IMAX.