Post-Apocalyptic Adaptation ‘Divergent’ Casts Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Maggie Q & More

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Divergent Casting Jai Courtney Zoe Kravitz Ansel Elgort Maggie Q Theo James 2 Post Apocalyptic Adaptation ‘Divergent’ Casts Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Maggie Q & More

Young adult book-to-film adaptations are nothing new, but since The Hunger Games rocked the box office, the race to snag the next hot property seems more rabid than ever. We just got Warm Bodies and Beautiful Creatures, and still have The Host, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Ender’s Game, and more on the way in 2013, but thanks to solid source material and a cast that gets better each day, the 2014 adaptation of Veronica Roth’s Divergent is looking better and better.

The film will star Shailene Woodley (recently cast as Mary Jane in The Amazing Spider-Man 2) as the lead character, Beatrice Prior, a teen living in a future world where the population is divided into five factions, each treasuring different values.

Erudite is dedicated to intelligence, Candor to honesty, Amity to peace, and Dauntless to bravery, while Beatrice’s Abnegation puts selflessness above all else. Beatrice is born into worshiping that ideal, however, come the Choosing Ceremony, she’ll have the opportunity to decide for herself whether she wants to stick with her family and live a life driven by altruism or switch to another faction. Either way, she’ll have to complete a rigorous initiation process before being considered a full-fledged member.

Summit Entertainment kicked things off by bringing Woodley aboard hot off her award-winning performance in The Descendants, and now the production’s got an Academy Award winner, too. The studio just dropped the official word; Kate Winslet won’t play Beatrice’s mother as many have speculated, but the leader of the Erudite faction, Jeanine Matthews. Jeanine is one of Beatrice’s main adversaries as someone who takes a liking to staining Abnegation’s good name. With a sky-high IQ, it’s Jeanine’s calculating nature and overwhelming intelligence that makes her such a threat, so hopes were high a talent like Winslet will be able to bring those layers to the forefront.

Kate Winslet Cast in Divergent Post Apocalyptic Adaptation ‘Divergent’ Casts Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Maggie Q & More

In addition to Winslet, Divergent also recently picked up Jai Courtney, Zoë Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, and Theo James. Courtney recently starred in A Good Day to Die Hard with Bruce Willis and, here, is locked for the role of Eric, another character who gives Beatrice a bit of a tough time. Kravitz is due to step in as Christina, a non-Abnegation friend Beatrice makes during initiation while Elgort will play her brother, Caleb, who also must decide his fate at the Choosing Ceremony.

It’s fun lining up the characters with such appropriate faces, but, of the bunch, the ultimate casting highlight is Q as a character named Tori. She hails from Dauntless, sports a hawk tattoo and can certainly handle herself in a fight. Hopefully she brings something fresh to the role, but at this point, I’m picturing Nikita in Divergent and considering Tori’s qualities, there might not be anything wrong with that. Last up is the biggest role aside from Beatrice, her love interest, Four. (Yes, his name is Four and you should wait for the film to find out why. It comes with a beautifully twisted backstory.)

If Woodley wasn’t enough of a reason to keep an eye on Divergent, Winslet, Q and even the supporting characters should seal the deal. Similar to Hunger Games, Roth’s book packs the appeal of an apocalyptic setting, characters that actually feel like real people, and a narrative that’s so much more than some schmaltzy supernatural romance. If you’re curious enough to give it a go, there’s more than enough time to read the book and its sequel, Insurgent, before Divergent hits the big screen on March 21, 2014.

Source: Summit Entertainment

Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.

Follow Perri Nemiroff on Twitter @PNemiroff
TAGS: Divergent
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  1. I enjoyed the book very much lol

  2. Great cast!!

  3. It sounds like a decent premise although far from original, my only gripe is that the faction names and their values seem too thickly-laden with obviousness and cliche.

    Just seems a little unoriginal and dare I say, lazy to have different factions and then name them after the word which represents the very definition of said values.

    Like having a faction called Avaricians who believe only in gaining as much material wealth as possible to further themselves as people, y’know?

    Probably sounds a little nit-picky and for that, I apologise but anyway, the movie….Kate Winslet is always good, Maggie Q….I know she’s been in a few things I’ve seen but can’t remember how she seemed acting wise in them. Likewise Jai Courtney in Spartacus, it was so long ago and I haven’t seen the new Die Hard yet to judge him on that.

    I just hope it isn’t something like The Hunger Games or Twilight (ie gimmicky and obviously written for the young adult crowd who are just transitioning from picture books to actual adult writing and thus don’t know what great writing is at that stage but then turned into an overhyped and overblown movie just to cash in).

    • I just finished reading this book, and it was spectacular. Yes, it is similar to the Hunger Games, but it can defiantly hold its own. I can honestly say though, with no doubt in my mind, it is NOTHING like Twilight. Divergent is empowering towards females, not; “My life revolves around a 500 year old vampire, and I sink into a depression every time we get into a fight.” Yes, it could of been better, and I agree with the “lazy names” but all around, it was a great book, and whether it is to cash in or not, i’m sure it’ll also be a great movie.

  4. Maggie Q is a terrific actress. She plays the title character in Nikita on CW and she is absolutely perfect for the role of Tori.

  5. Winslet is going to be badass as Jeanine. It’s until her casting that I got excited for the film.

  6. Yes, go see the movie but you should READ THE BOOK to find out where Four’s name comes from!!!!!

    • I read the book, fours backstory was a bit dull to me. Why his name is four is not that interesting. I would rather know why formulas doesn’t affect the divergent.

  7. Funny thing is I just heard about this book 2 weeks ago and finished a day ago :) Now it’s being made into a film. IMHO I wouldn’t have chosen Shailene Woodley as the lead character. I really liked her role in The Descendants, but meh… Guess we will just have to wait and see.

  8. I read this book several years ago and always wished that someone would it into a movie. Honestly that is my favorite book ever and i’ve read it atleast 4 times. So, i think the cast looks great, but please don’t disapoint me…this has amazing potential!

  9. They better not ruin this book! I loved it too much AND the sequel(s)-if you count Free Four. I did not enjoy the movie Beautiful Creatures and that book was amazing… I hope they get Divergent right. Then again, when is the movie ever A’s good A’s the book?

  10. Maggie Q tho, I love her. She’s a terrific actress who never fails to bring a little bit more to every role. Gahh, gonna watch this film partly because of her (and partly because I’ve read the book and can’t wait for the film adaptation which will hopefully meet my standards)

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  12. Four is supposed to have darker hair and Tris isn’t supposed to be wearing makeup. I get that she is an actor but come on guys. If they wriet it in teh book, they should use it in teh movie as well. Tobias is supposed to say “Are you asking me to undress Tris?” and she is supposed to say , “Only partially.” neitehr of them say that. WHy????????