Neil Burger to Adapt 'Divergent' for a New Hopeful Sci-Fi Franchise
Summit Entertainment will soon find itself without a franchise as The Twilight Saga comes to an end this fall (though their new sister company Lionsgate still has The Hunger Games franchise continuing with three more movies). Variety reports the company is in early talks with Limitless director Neil Burger to direct Divergent, the first in the New York Times bestselling young adult novel series by Veronica Roth. Summit bought the rights to the first book two months before the book was on sale in 2011, and also picked up the second book Insurgent, which was just released in May. So what is this book series all about? More below!
Here's the official synopsis:
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
The plan is for Burger to begin production in March with an eye towards releasing the film early in 2014. Apparently Burger beat out several other high-profile filmmakers for the job, but no specific names were mentioned. If successful, you can be sure the second film will follow, and a third film is likely as well since a third book is supposed to hit shelves in 2013. The futuristic setting has me most interested in the story, and honestly, I'm a big fan of having another strong female protagonist like Katniss Everdeen in the lead role. This will surely be an opportunity for an up and coming young actress to make a big break into the industry, though I'm sure actresses who didn't get The Hunger Games lead will also have their hat thrown in the ring.