Set in the blown-apart, post-war Chicago of the future, Veronica Roth’s novel Divergent — the first of the now-completed, best-selling trilogy — sets up a complicated world. This new exclusive trailer for the coming film adaptation takes us through it: what the five factions that divide the population are, and what being “Divergent” means. And, of course, why it’s dangerous — and possibly even revolutionary — that the movie’s main character, Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley), is Divergent.
The noisy (and growing) Divergent fandom and the excitement around the movie indicates that it is tipping toward Hunger Games-like success rather than Mortal Instruments-y floppitude. The cast is impressive and, if you’ve read the books, the actors are well-matched to their roles. Beyond the ubiquitous and ascendant Woodley, Theo James plays Tris’ love interest, Four (real name: Tobias); Miles Teller is her rival, Peter; Zoë Kravitz plays her friend, Christina; Ashley Judd and Tony Goldwyn play her parents; and Woodley’s Fault in Our Stars co-lead, Ansel Elgort, is Tris’ brother, Caleb. (They will have a very different relationship here!)
Oh, and Kate Winslet lords over everything as the brilliant, sinister Jeanine Matthews.
Trying to introduce a book-to-screen franchise like Divergent is largely about world-building: What will the things you pictured when you were reading look like on film? And will they blow away the many people who haven’t read the book? To that end, director Neil Burger and screenwriters Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor appear to have created an expansive real landscape for Tris to navigate, and a sleek-looking simulated one through which she can discover and challenge her weaknesses.
Divergent will be released on March 21.