Summit Entertainment, a Lionsgate company, announced today that principal photography has commenced in Chicago on the highly anticipated feature film adaptation of Divergent, starring Golden Globe nominated Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Academy Award winner Kate Winslet. The studio also announced that Ray Stevenson and Mekhi Phifer will join a stellar young cast including Maggie Q, Jai Courtney, Miles Teller, Zoë Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Ben Lamb, Christian Madsen, and Amy Newbold. The futuristic action adventure, based on author Veronica Roth's New York Times best seller, will be directed by Neil Burger from a script by Vanessa Taylor. The original draft of the script was written by Evan Daugherty. Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher are producing the project via their Red Wagon Entertainment banner along with Pouya Shahbazian. Red Wagon's Rachel Shane is executive producing, alongside John J. Kelly. Summit will release the film theatrically in North America in The Hunger Games slot on Friday, March 21, 2014.
Divergent is a thrilling 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.
The extremely popular young adult novel Divergent was written by first time author Veronica Roth and has topped the New York Times Best Sellers list ever since being published in May of 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins Publishers. The book was written by Roth while she was earning her undergraduate degree at Northwestern University. She followed her first novel with the book Insurgent, which has also made its way to the #1 position on specific New York Times Best Sellers lists. To date, book sales are now over 3 million copies for both novels combined, and both titles are HarperCollins most successful e-books ever in regards to sales. The studio acquired the film rights to the novel in early 2011 several months before the book Divergent was published.
Divergent marks another strategic foray for Summit into producing material for young adults, building on Summit and corporate parent Lionsgate's leadership in the young-adult genre. Summit's Twilight Saga franchise has grossed more than $3.3 billion at the worldwide box office, and the first film of Lionsgate's The Hunger Games franchise is the 13th highest-grossing North American release of all time.
Erik Feig, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group's President of Production, and Gillian Bohrer, Lionsgate's SVP of Production, are overseeing the project for the studio.