Shailene Woodley is on a roll. Today marks some huge news for YA fiction aficionados as Variety reports that Woodley is currently in talks to play the lead role in Summit’s upcoming adaptation of YA dystopian novel “Divergent.”
Remember when everyone kept calling “The Hunger Games” the next “Twilight” or the next “Harry Potter“? Well, here’s yet another YA franchise to throw into the mix. Penned by 24-year-old Veronica Roth, “Divergent” tells the story a futuristic society that sorts its members into five factions divided by personality traits (Dauntless, Abnegation, Amity, Candor, and Erudite). Upon their 16th birthday, each member of society must choose which faction to officially dedicate their life to. The series centers on Beatrice “Tris” Prior (whom Woodley would play), a sixteen-year-old girl born into the faction of Abnegation who doesn’t quite seem to fit in with her society’s standards. Eventually, she finds out that she also doesn’t really fit into any single one of the other official factions either. No spoilers here, but basically this causes a lot of drama. Published in May of 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books (an imprint of HarperCollins), “Divergent” is the first book in a trilogy that is scheduled to conclude next Spring with the release of the still untitled third book. Teenagers aren’t exactly pitted to the death in this story, but “Divergent” contains many of the coveted ingredients in a well-consumed YA dystopian: questionable people in power, whispers of rebellion, an angsty romance. Also, people leap out of moving trains, and that’s definitely something we’d love to see Woodley, one of our breakout stars of 2011, take on.
Although Woodley might be most famously known for her leading role in the ABC Family series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” she garnered much attention when she played George Clooney’s daughter in the 2011 Oscar-nominated film “The Descendants.” Despite the recent cancellation of “The Secret Life,” Woodley clearly isn’t going to have trouble keeping herself busy. She recently finished filming “The Spectacular Now,” another novel adaption, and is also attached to the indie drama “White Bird.” Woodley, of course, is also currently in talks for a significant role in another franchise as Mary Jane Watson in the sequel to 2012’s “The Amazing Spiderman.” Although both “Spiderman 2″ and “Divergent” are set to release in 2014, there’s no need to fret about scheduling conflicts as reportedly Woodley’s role in the former film isn’t exactly an integral one (yet).
“Divergent” is scheduled to start production in March with a tentative release of Spring 2014. Neil Burger will direct with Evan Daugherty penning the script. Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher will be producing the film.