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How Jennifer Lawrence Convinced Shailene Woodley To Star In Divergent

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Shailene WoodleyIn a few weeks, Lionsgate will know whether or not they’ll have another hit movie franchise based on a young adult book series with Divergent. After the worldwide success of The Hunger Games film series, Divergent is looking to replicate that same kind of success with a brand-new franchise. And now it looks like one franchise influenced the other in more ways than one.

In an interview with THR, Divergent star Shailene Woodley revealed that Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence convinced Woodley to sign on for Divergent. Woodley recalls that Lawrence emailed her and said, “You must do it. You will not regret it for a second. Yes, there are some hard things, but there are so many beautiful things that will come from an opportunity like this. Woodley also reveals that the emails from Lawrence were sent at the behest of Erik Feig, Lionsgate motion picture group co-president.

Woodley has had much the same career trajectory as Jennifer Lawrence. Both started with popular TV shows — Woodley on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Lawrence on The Bill Engvall Show on TBS — and both made the transition into indie movies — The Descendants and The Spectacular Now for Woodley, Winter’s Bone for Lawrence. Lawrence’s then continued rising with mainstream feature films and franchises including X-Men and The Hunger Games. It seems like Woodley is positioned to follow in Lawrence’s footsteps with Divergent. Now she just needs to win an Academy Award.

When asked who would win in a fight between Shailene Woodley’s Divergent character, Beatrice “Tris” Prior, and Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, Woodley’s response was quite diplomatic:

If my character and Katniss from The Hunger Games battled it out? I don’t know. I don’t feel like they would actually battle. I feel like it’d be like, ‘You’re a strong lady? I’m a strong lady, too. Let’s combine forces and bring it together.’

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Meanwhile, Lionsgate has released a new poster for Divergent‘s IMAX release. Its cartoonish look is very original and exciting. I wish more movie posters would try something different rather than going with the same cookie-cutter design we see again and again. This IMAX poster actually makes me want to watch Divergent because it doesn’t look like a typical movie. Lionsgate has a tendency for releasing unconventional movie posters for their IMAX releases. The IMAX poster for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire looked more like a Mondo poster than a typical movie poster.

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 “Tris,” who is discovered to be divergent and must figure out how to survive in her dystopian world. The movie 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.

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