Delicately stepping over the body of The Mortal Instruments, which came in third place at the box office this weekend, Summit Entertainment took a page from March 2012's The Hunger Games and released the first trailer for YA franchise hopeful Divergent during the VMAs preshow some 8 months before its March 2014 release.
Divergent, based on a trilogy by novelist Veronica Roth, is the story of a teenage girl named Tris Prior who lives in a futuristic Chicago in which residents are divided into factions based on personality traits, and has already been anointed the heir to the Twilight and Hunger Games legacies. (In June, the movie's stars even got a preemptive Entertainment Weekly cover all to themselves.) Although the trailer introduces Oscar winner Kate Winslet's villain, Jeanine Matthews, a faction leader hellbent on manipulating residents for her own mysterious means, the real focus is Shailene Woodley's Tris Prior, the outsider adolescent deemed "Divergent" who joins the Dauntless, a warrior faction that focuses on fighting skills.
Woodley, 21, is an actress on the rise, with critical acclaim for her work in 2011's The Descendants and the current teen-angst drama The Spectacular Now, and the action sequences in Divergent promise to showcase her physical sparring skills. Also seen is English actor Theo James — best known for his brief stint on Downton Abbey—who plays Woodley's swoon-worthy love interest, Four. (Although it echoes themes found in its predecessors, Twilight and The Hunger Games, Divergent fans take pride in the fact that there is no love triangle in the story.)
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.