Divergent director Neil Burger will not return for the sequels Insurgent and Allegiant

Like Gary Ross not returning for THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, DIVERGENT director Neil Burger will not be helming the second film in the trilogy, INSURGENT. After having directed the smaller scale movies THE ILLUSIONIST and LIMITLESS, Burger seemed ready to tackle his first big studio film. Coming from a series of young adult novels with a pre-existing fanbsse, DIVERGENT seemed like a no-brainer. But, after the failure of other young adult films like THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS and BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, a lot of pressure has been put on this film to succeed.

Summit, the studio behind TWILIGHT, issued a statement explaining Neil Burger's decision to not return for the DIVERGENT sequel.

"Neil Burger is a rock star and he is doing a fantastic job on Divergent. We can't wait for you to see the film. But as amazing as Neil is he still cannot be in two places at once and thus needs to finish postproduction on Divergent while we gear up to start production on Insurgent. So, although Neil will continue on as part of our Divergent family as an executive producer, we sadly have to find another director for the next chapter in Veronica Roth's fantastic series."

The tight production schedule has to do with the fact that DIVERGENT was shot over four months in Chicago this past summer for a release early in 2014. INSURGENT was set to begin filming next year for an already scheduled release date of March 20, 2015 and the third film, ALLEGIANT, is set for a release on March 18, 2016. That is a pretty quick turnaround for any production. Burger's leaving may represent issues with the filming of DIVERGENT, but we won't know until the movie hits theaters.

Early buzz for DIVERGENT has many claiming it is the next HUNGER GAMES. Taking place in a post-apocalyptic Chicago starring a wide cast including Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Zoë Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Jai Courtney, Miles Teller and Kate Winslet. It is set to hit theaters on March 21, 2014.



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