Robert Schwentke

Tucked deep in the recesses of a Tuesday night, two large bits of entertainment news hit the metaphorical wire, lighting up the echo chamber of the Internet (and especially Twitter) with some good old-fashioned outrage. Our own Scott Beggs has already shared the heartbreaking news that (sad face emoticon) indie darling Greta Gerwig is now a huge sellout who will never again make another quirky and original film and will instead toil forever in the salt mines of corporate sitcom hell. Let us mourn. Amidst the Gerwig-centric rage, another piece of news also arrived – that Robert Schwentke is set to helm the second entry into Lionsgate’s Shailene Woodley-starring Divergent series, based on the very popular YA trilogy by Veronica Roth. If the Gerwig news did not already tap your rage reserves, come with me – we shall spend it here. Divergent director Neil Burger bowed out of the second film, Insurgent, back in December, as he was reportedly disinterested in keeping up with the backbreaking filming schedule that Lionsgate has demanded of the series (with Divergent hitting theaters on March 21, the studio has already set similar March release dates in 2015 and 2016 for the final two entries, ensuring an eye-popping production pace). At the time, we mused as to who we would like to see direct Insurgent, a film marked with significantly more action than its predecessor, an action-heavy outing that could benefit from some a similarly action-minded director. We dropped names like David Yates, Paul Greengrass, […]



The next big YA franchise set to hit the big screen won’t arrive in theaters for nearly four months, but its director has already taken himself out of consideration for any sequels. The shoot was that fun, huh? Variety reports that director Neil Burger will not return to direct another Divergent film, the burgeoning film franchise based on Veronica Roth’s popular series that will star Shailene Woodley in its lead role. The first film in the series is already set to arrive in theaters on March 21 of next year, and Lionsgate has already lined up a similar release date for the second film in the series, Insurgent, which will hit screens on March 20, 2015 and the third film, Allegiant, which is now set for a March 18, 2016 release. Burger, however, will not be directing that second feature (and will not return for subsequent entries in the series). One of the reasons why Burger might not returning could be due to the fast turnaround time necessary to keep the franchise ticking along – Burger is reportedly in post-production on the first film and the second one requires a production start sometime next spring. That’s, well, a lot of moviemaking to cram into a relatively short amount of time (and that’s not even considering the huge press and publicity tour that Divergent will undoubtedly get). So if Burger is out, who is going to be in?


Neil Burger and Divergent

While it’s easy to scoff and snipe at the recent explosion of young adult novels making it to the big screen, it’s also a huge mistake to do so. Of course The Twilight Saga is to be thanked (blamed?) for said explosion, but not every YA book slated to get a cinematic translation is Twilight – in fact, most of them aren’t. Case in point: Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” series. The planned three-book series is already two books down (that would be 2011’s “Divergent” and 2012’s “Insurgent”) with the final one on the way in the fall of next year (while it’s currently nameless, it would be insane to think it won’t be called “Resurgent”). Summit Entertainment snapped up the rights to “Divergent” before the book even hit shelves (and they also own the rights to “Insurgent,” wily beasts), and now it looks like they’re really getting a move on when it comes to getting their next big series to theaters. Variety reports (via The Playlist) that director Neil Burger is “in early talks” to helm the first feature, Divergent, which is set to come with a script by Snow White and the Huntsman scribe Evan Daugherty, who was hired last summer. Burger last directed the Bradley Cooper-starring Limitless and he’s been attached to such hot-but-maybe-never-happening properties like Uncharted and a new Bonnie and Clyde in recent months. Though Summit won’t comment on the report, sources tell Variety that Burger “edged out several high-profile filmmakers” for the gig. But if there’s one […]

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published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015

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