Veronica Roth

DIVERGENT

Sure, P.L. Travers might be the most publicly known disaffected author (at least as it applies to the full-scale cinematic and, on her end, utterly despised imagining of her beloved “Mary Poppins” by Walt Disney — what, did you miss Saving Mr. Banks?), but she’s far from the only one. Stephen King is notoriously not a fan of The Shining, Anthony Burgess so disliked the movie version of his A Clockwork Orange that he regretted writing his own book, Bret Easton Ellis almost roundly dismisses movie takes on his novels, and the list goes on and on (we’re betting that Mark Helprin isn’t too excited about the recent spin on Winter’s Tale), but it doesn’t always have to be the case. In fact, it’s sort of fun when it’s not. The YA genre has been mostly lucky when it comes to author-approved movies – at least when it comes to its most popular and recent ones – as massive franchises like Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games have been generally pleasing to their respective writers (at least, pleasing enough to not warrant public outcry). Now it seems that the YA love train can add another car to its huffing and puffing movement, as Veronica Roth, author of the “Divergent” trilogy, recently shared her thoughts on seeing the Shailene Woodley-starring Divergent with her fans (hint: she loved it).

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DIVERGENT

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?

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DIVERGENT

It’s a feeling that’s familiar to anyone who has ever been a fan of a preexisting property that gets the adaptation route – this isn’t how I pictured it. Hollywood’s current love affair with turning bestselling books into feature films, crafting beloved productions into “reimagined” versions, and generally just mining other material to make “new” films means that such a particular feeling is one experienced with startling regularity. The next big project on the adaptation track – a big screen take on Veronica Roth’s bestselling “Divergent” book series – will kick off early next year with the Shailene Woodley-starring Divergent. As marketing for the feature ramps up, we wondered – but what do the fans of the original material think? Over at GoodReads, a site that fosters bonds amongst book readers while also giving them a place to post reviews of their reading material, the “Divergent” community is a thriving one. The first book is a hit with many GoodReads readers, and of a current 761,152 reviews of the book, 354,106 of them are either five- or four-star reviews, making it the second-best reviewed book in the very popular YA dystopia novel genre (“The Hunger Games” is number one). It’s also number nine on the Best Young Adult Books, a list that also includes classics like “The Giver” and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” alongside newer stuff like “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Twilight.” The book rates higher than both “The Hobbit” and “The Outsiders,” so yes, it’s thought […]

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DIVERGENT

If you are not of the YA set and have never heard of Neil Burger‘s Divergent before the teaser trailer surfaced several days ago, fear not, because the cast and creators of the film are here to explain you a thing. This isn’t The Hunger Games. Oh no, this isn’t The Host. Or Twilight. Or Harry Potter. And don’t you dare compare it to Mortal Instruments: City of Bones: Bonetropolis: Thunderbone. Divergent is based on a YA novel by Veronica Roth, set in the wondrous dystopian future Chicago (they don’t all have to be mystical lands), where society is now divided into five factions based on your personality. But then there’s Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley), who is categorized as “divergent” – meaning she can’t be put in one of your societal boxes, man. And that makes her a threat. Check out the featurette for yourself:

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SHAILENE WOODLEY stars in DIVERGENT

One of the more useless trends to come around in the past few years is the “trailer for a trailer.” Trailers themselves are little teases for a film; a tease for a tease is redundant and unsatisfyingly brief. So it’s not super-surprising that the teaser for Divergent is pretty much useless. There’s so much to absorb here: multiple close-ups of Shailene Woodley, wide-eyed and vaguely upset. Someone takes an elbow to the face. Someone else gets flipped upside-down. The film’s name is mentioned, and then Woodley leaps a small gap in slow-motion. The end. Ideally, we’d be tiny glimpses of some nifty effects or set pieces that the trailer would showcase in far grander detail, but the only thing here that raises even the slightest bit of curiosity is some guy waving around some sort of fire-whip glow stick. The full trailer for Divergent premieres at the MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday, but it seems highly unlikely that seeing more of Divergent will be stirring up any real hype. Check it out below, and learn from Divergent‘s example: this is not the way to tease a film.

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DIVERGENT

As Hollywood’s love affair with popular YA properties grinds relentlessly on, we’re doomed to be inundated with a whole mess of stories asking if the newest something or other is “the next Twilight” or “the newest Hunger Games” (hey, sometimes we wonder about it too), but easy associations aside, there really are some great teen-focused adaptations hitting the big screen soon. We promise. Fine, maybe we’re just talking about the cinematic version of Veronica Roth‘s three-book “Divergent” series, which will kick off next year with the release of the currently-filming Divergent, but Roth’s future-set and vividly imagined series is one of the best we’ve read recently, and we’re pretty highly anticipating it. Even better? The film stars Shailene Woodley in a role that has “starmaker” written all over it (if this summer’s The Spectacular Now doesn’t already accomplish that for her). Woodley stars as Tris Prior, resident of a future Chicago where all residents (and its a slim bunch, thanks to some sort of event that seemingly wiped out most of the world) have been divided into very different factions. Despite growing up in the Abnegation faction, Tris discovers that she’s (dun-dun-DUH!!!) “divergent,” someone who doesn’t neatly fit into just one faction. With an annual event that lets teenagers pick a new faction coming up, Tris is faced with a big choice. Oh, and discovering that being divergent is dangerous isn’t helping things. The film is filming in Chicago now, so we’ve been treated to a few looks at the production already, but today brings a new batch […]

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Recent months have been very kind to the career of young actress Shailene Woodley. Not only did she make herself ridiculously famous basically overnight by standing toe-to-toe with George Clooney in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, but recently she signed on to play the very high profile role of Mary Jane Watson in Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man sequel. This freight train of success isn’t stopping with acclaimed dramas and big comic book blockbusters, however, because Heat Vision is reporting that Woodley is now closing in on a deal to star in the next big YA adaptation, Divergent. Divergent, if you’ll remember, is the first adaptation of a planned trilogy of Veronica Roth novels, and is set to be directed by Neil Burger (The Illusionist). Amazon’s description of Roth’s novel gives the story the following synopsis:

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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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