Ever since the success of the Harry Potter film series and the Twilight saga, Hollywood movie studios have been racing to find the next big young adult film franchise. Lionsgate hit the big time with The Hunger Games, with the first film grossing $691.2 million worldwide and its sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, positioned to gross twice as much as the original. Summit Entertainment’s newest YA cotender is the film adaptation of author Veronica Roth’s young adult book series Divergent.
During last night’s MTV Music Video Awards (Miley Cyrus aside), Summit (which merged with Lionsgate a few years ago) released the first theatrical trailer for Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet. The trailer looks thrilling, but it’s unclear if general audiences will attach onto Divergent as they did with The Hunger Games in 2012. Can Shailene Woodley become the next Jennifer Lawrence?
Divergent takes place in a post-apocalyptic Chicago where civilization is split into five different factions: Amity, Abnegation, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. The film centers on Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Shailene Woodley), who must choose to stay with her family in the Abnegation faction or find a new one.
Divergent is a thrilling action-adventure set in a future world where people are divided into distinct factions based on their personalities. Tris Prior (Woodley) is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy to destroy all Divergents, she must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it’s too late.
Yesterday, Summit released some teaser footage from the new trailer. The studio also released a handy infographic to illustrate Divergent‘s different factions. It seems as if Divergent could be sold as a Hunger Games-like film. At first glance, both movies take place in a dystopian future, both feature teenagers and young adults as the film’s leads, and Divergent also features a ruling class with undertones of oppression and control. All signs point to Divergent being the flavor of the week.
It looks like Summit has a lot of confidence in Divergent, as the studio hired writer Brian Duffield (Jane Got a Gun) to adapt Roth’s novel Insurgent as its sequel film. So would they call it Divergent: Insurgent? Let’s hope Duffield can figure out a snappier title.
Neil Burger (Limitless) directed the film, while Evan Daugherty (Snow White and the Huntsman) and Vanessa Taylor (Hope Springs) co-wrote Divergent‘s screenplay, adapted from author Veronica Roth’s best-selling young adult novel. Divergent also features actors Ansel Elgort, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Maggie Q, Jai Courtney, Tony Goldwyn, Ashley Judd, and Mekhi Phifer as Max.
Divergent will hit theaters everywhere on March 21, 2014.