‘Divergent’ Trailer: Shailene Woodley Shows Bravery in a Dystopian Future

Published 2 years ago by , Updated August 26th, 2013 at 12:56 pm,

517911379 3 620 439 Divergent Trailer: Shailene Woodley Shows Bravery in a Dystopian Future

Best-selling young adult fiction novel series Twilight and The Hunger Games are, in many respects, polar opposites with regard to how they re-envision certain genre storytelling traditions (supernatural horror vs. dystopia future) for a new generation. Yet, their movie counterparts have proven to be equal-matches at the box office, with installments that have grossed well over half a billion dollars worldwide; and thus, given Hollywood all the incentive it needs to green-light even more adaptations of stories about young people coming of age under extraordinary circumstances.

Divergent will be next year’s addition to the growing pile of recent YA literature sensations that’ve been granted a cinematic “upgrade.” Author Veronica Roth’s novel takes place in a dystopian future, where teenagers (on the cusp of maturity) are segregated and divided into different factions, based on their personality that a government-sponsored aptitude test helps to decide. Protagonist Beatrice ‘Tris’ Prior (Shailene Woodley) learns that she unwittingly poses a threat to this system, because she is “divergent” – that is, someone who does not fit any one of the five approved groups.

The newly-unveiled Divergent teaser trailer (which MTV premiered during the 2013 VMA show) starts by introducing the basic premise of the movie, in addition to the story’s central antagonist: Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet), who is the sole leader of one of the five factions (whose machinations for total domination involve the “divergents”). Once Woodley and Winslet’s characters are established, the preview changes gears in order to highlight the challenges that Tris must overcome when she decided to join the Dauntless (read: Brave) faction. (Much of the sizzle reel footage that was shown during the Divergent 2013 Comic-Con panel focused on this portion of the film’s narrative.)

divergent movie woodley james Divergent Trailer: Shailene Woodley Shows Bravery in a Dystopian Future

Theo James and Shailene Woodley in ‘Divergent’

Director Neil Burger (Limitless) seems to have done a decent job bringing the dystopian Chicago setting of Roth’s novel to life, based on this writer’s impressions of the Divergent teaser and the Comic-Con footage; like it or not, though, it’s going to be near-to-impossible for this film to escape the Hunger Games comparisons (good and bad). Having a quality leading lady in Woodley, as the heroine is a story with a relevant (if obvious) subtext that draws inspiration from touchstone novels like Brave New World and 1984, should provide Burger’s YA flick with some sturdy legs to hold it up higher.

Likewise, the solid production values and casting – which includes Maggie Q, Ray Stevenson, Ashley Judd, Zoë Kravitz and Woodley’s The Spectacular Now costar Miles Teller – ought to further elevate Divergent above the recent additions to the YA book-turned movie sub-genre Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (neither of which managed to impress most critics); not to mention, the Divergent screenwriter team of Vanessa Taylor (Game of Thrones) and Evan Daugherty (Snow White and the Hunstman) isn’t too shabby either. Nonetheless, Divergent still has a ways to go before it can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Tris and Four (Theo James) aren’t just Katniss/Gale/etc. knock-offs.

Lastly, here is an infographic (via Summit Entertainment) that introduces the world of Divergent, for those who are not familiar with the source material:

[Click for Full-Sized Version]

divergent movie inforgraphic 570x597 Divergent Trailer: Shailene Woodley Shows Bravery in a Dystopian Future


Does the Divergent teaser trailer get you excited to see the newest YA sci-fi novel adaptation on the big screen?


Divergent opens in regular and select IMAX theaters on March 21st, 2014.

Source: MTV

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Divergent
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  1. it looks like been there done that.

  2. Excited… yes and no. I’m happy the book got more attention, but I wonder if Tris’ problems will really resonate on film. Is she going to narrate? Will casual movie-goers be put to work to figure out how each faction is separated and who’s who? Will avid fans of the books be satisfied? Well, the last question is obvious—50/50. Of course, can’t really judge a film without seeing it first.

  3. looks like a tv show… not an HBO show.. Not an AMC show.. more like an ABC family show… rather than an actual film.

    • Agreed. It has a TV show feel to it.

  4. looks… meh.

  5. I actually liked this booked better than Hunger Games, so I’m pretty excited.

  6. I also liked the book better than the hunger games as well. As for the trailer it kinda had the look at feel of gattica to me which if I am remembering correctly was directed by Neil Burger as well. Solid director I will check this one out in theaters. Unfortunately, it picked a horrible release date IMO, going up against Muppets Most Wanted sounds like a recipe for disaster. The first made decent money and I think the next can only make more money.

    • Nope gattica was andrew niccol. My fault.

  7. The cast looks up to the challenge assuming there is one.
    This might be the first film of young adult fiction novel I’ll see.

  8. Look solid, looking forward to the next trailer.

  9. I might see this, even though I found the book to be boring.

  10. Hunger Games with a much uglier female lead…pass

  11. Tears n my eyes. Sooooo excited for this!


    Let it go, trailer editors. Please… let it go!

  13. Doesnt look that appealing to me…


  14. Looks like they’re going to stick pretty close to the book. Almost every clip in the trailer is a scene directly from the book. The series itself is pretty solid so far so I’ll definitely be watching Divergent.

  15. Looks like a huge fail. But her chest looks delicious.

  16. More twilight crap…

  17. Shailen Woodley sucks.

  18. I don’t wanna sound mean but danmm she’s ugly
    Lets hope shes like sissy spacek whose great acting ability make you forget her ugliness

    • what’s wrong with you? you won’t watch a movie or hate on it just bc the lead is “ugly”? wow

  19. All the YA’s a flooping this wont be any different. That well has been tapped dry.

    • Hehe flooping wtf.

  20. Glad to see that Maggie Q is getting some film work. She should be in that Expendabelles and/or a Fast and Furious movie. Otherwise though this looks fairly lame. I’m sensing yet another YA adaption flop

  21. Shailen Woodley is not photogenic. She is not ugly.
    Her look can vary from pretty to decidedly ordinary.
    Anne Hathaway is another actress with the same issue.

    • Idk if id call it an issue. It shows she gets jobs based on her ability. She was really good in the descendents and the spectacular now

      • The camera is not kind to her and her look is inconsistent.
        Not being photogenic is an issue for a model or actress.

        This is separate from the fact why in her case she is
        hired for her talent first and not for beauty reasons.
        I said what I said because of the ugly comments.

        • In the case of Woodley for Mj Watson I think her look is an issue. Because MJ is a model and kind of a bombshell. In this case her look is pretty accurate for the role. It’s funny that people complain about Megan Fox getting booked solely because she’s hot but then turn around and shut down this girl for being too plain (apparently) without having seen her in anything.

  22. all these comments about shailene being “ugly” are just so shallow you’re supposed to judge an actress based on her talent not her looks she’s not a model and the character tris is supposed to look this way she refers to herself many times in the book that she’s not pretty also i can’t see how shailene is ugly i this she’s very good looking

  23. can someone explain how is divergent similar to the hunger games? they’re both dystopian and that’s it and i don’t think that the hunger games created the dystopian genre stop comparing everything to the hunger games and twilight

    • Both The Hunger Games and Divergent are dystopian stories that were created for young adults; deal with very relevant (and related) political issues; and revolve around a strong-willed female protagonist who, without meaning to, begins to lead a social revolution.

      Sorry to say, but the comparisons are kind of inevitable, for those reasons.

  24. im freaking tired of theses movies being done over and over again

    • I know, right!? It’s so awful that Hollywood forces you into a theater at gun point, shackles you to a chair in front of the screen and tapes your eyelids open! It just get’s old so quickly.

  25. what the hell is this piece of trash!?
    looks like a straight to dvd film