Comic Con: Divergent with Shailene Woodley and Theo James con footage description and new images
The DIVERGENT panel began with a bang as they immediately launched into the first footage from the film, which shows the world of Veronica Roth’s novel come to life, even if it just looks like a desolate modern-day Chicago. The panel was mostly your standard fluff, but before we dive into that, here’s the description of the showreel:
The reel kicks off with a gang of teenagers, including Shailene Woodley running towards the L Train bridge in Chicago and jumping onto a moving train, then leaping onto a surrounding rooftop from the train.
Once on the roof, those who made the jump stand facing a tattood and pierced Jai Courtney who informs them that in order to join the Dauntless faction they will have to jump again, only this time, they have to jump off the building and into a hole in the roof of a building below. Naturally, Woodley’s character opts to jump first, making the jump, which lands in a safety net once she passes through the hole.
Here she is greeted by Theo James character, Four, who tells her she can choose a new name if she wants. She chooses Tris. From this point, the reel breaks into a montage of images of the Dauntless headquarters which looks like a futuristic gym inside a warehouse, complete with healthy-looking teens sparring, crowd-surfing, and drinking. So, basically, it looks like a rowdy house of teenagers.
An image of Tris revealing a tattoo to a stoic-looking Kate Winslet is shown, as is a sequence where Tris receives a shot in her neck. The reel then shows off some quick cut interactions, mostly between Tris and Four, playing up the romantic aspect, but while under the guise of a futuristic action pic. The reel closes with Tris standing against a wall and Four throwing knives around her, the last one nicking her ear. The final shots are of her turning the tables and throwing knives herself.
Overall, DIVERGENT looks like…THE HUNGER GAMES meets THE HOST. I know that sounds like a lame comparison, but there it is. Fans of the book will no doubt be jazzed to see this, but I’m not sure that it’s a big sell for non-fans. That said, the production looks solid and the chemistry between Woodley and James looks to be genuine. I think that fans that already want to see this will still want to after seeing the first trailer, but I’m skeptical if it will change any minds that have no interest.
The panel that followed didn’t yield much beyond your standard fluff, but author Veronica Roth did reveal that the third novel in her trilogy will be written from both Pris and Four’s perspectives, which is different from the other two, which only followed Pris’s perspective. A big piece of the young cast was brought out on display, along with author Veronica Roth and director Neil Burger, including Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Zoe Kravitz, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Miles Teller, and everyone was enthusiastic about their involvement, which began with martial arts training and conditioning to get them up to snuff with their characters.
DIVERGENT opens in IMAX on March 21, 2014.