Ranking the Youth of 'Divergent' Based on Star Potential

Divergent had a solid weekend at the box office, but which of the young stars of the movie will find the greatest success outside of the burgeoning franchise? 

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Divergent had a solid weekend at the box office, but which of the young stars of the movie will find the greatest success outside of the burgeoning franchise?

Even if the movie wasn't your cup of tea, you have to give the filmmakers credit for hiring a good crop of up and comers to play the movie's youngsters. Some of them have very bright futures ahead of them outside of this dystopia, like star and noted herb-fan Shailene Woodley, who has already come close to an Oscar nomination. Others ... maybe not.

Miles Teller

It seems counterintuitive to give the top spot on this list to someone who has a relatively minor part in Divergent, but Teller's major stardom seems even more secure than Shailene Woodley's.

Talent: Now, Teller doesn't have a lot to do in the movie as bully Peter, and, in fact, he may have even been the wrong choice for the role. Teller can play an asshole, but he never fails to be a little charming. Still, what sets Teller apart from the pack is his range. Teller has played fun-loving bros—he was a stand out in That Awkward Moment, a movie that barely allowed for standouts—and characters in the midst of deep suffering. His breakout role was opposite Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole, playing a teen that accidentally hit a four-year-old with his car. Acting opposite Woodley in last year's The Spectacular Now, Teller was heartbreaking as Sutter Keely, who masked his alcoholism with a carefree exterior.Teller's next indie, Whiplash, won big at Sundance this year, and, while it's a stretch, could possibly result in an Oscar campaign for Teller.

Franchise potential: This is the trump card: not only is Teller an indie star thanks to The Spectacular Now and Whiplash, but he also has the potential to be in big box office hits other than Divergent. Teller is set to play Reed Richards in the Fantastic Four reboot if all goes as planned.

Shailene Woodley

Woodley is most certainly a media darling thanks to her off the cuff remarks about re-wilding, but how big will she be?

Talent: Woodley most certainly has the chops. In fact, she might be the main reason to go see Divergent. She flirted with an Oscar nomination way back in 2011 for her heartbreaking work in The Descendants, and won over the Sundance crowd with The Spectacular Now last year. At this year's Sundance she appeared in Gregg Araki's White Bird in a Blizzard, a daring choice of projects that includes a nude scene, and she's got teen-friendly sob-magnet The Fault in Our Stars coming out this summer.

Franchise potential: Whereas Teller seems to have an itch to open big movies, it's unclear whether Woodley will want to remain a box office draw after Divergent considering most of other other choices have been indies.

Jai Courtney

Courtney was a scene stealer in Divergent as nasty Dauntless instructor Eric.

Talent: So Courtney does not have the indie chops of Teller and Woodley. However, he stood out in a lesser role Divergent, which takes some charisma. And it's not like he doesn't have a prestige project on the way: He's appearing in Angelina Jolie's upcoming World War II drama, Unbroken.

Franchise potential: Courtney seems gunning for a franchise that will make him a star. He's struck out a couple of times: He played John McClane's son in A Good Day to Die hard and had a role in Jack Reacher. However, his big break may be yet to come. He's set to star as Kyle Reese opposite Emilia Clarke's Sarah Connor in the upcoming Terminator reboot.

Ansel Elgort

Elgort was slightly blah as Tris's brother Caleb in Divergent, but it's a thankless role and we suspect he might have more up his sleeve.

Talent: Elgort really hasn't done much so far. Divergent is just his second role aside from popular guy Tommy Ross in the remake of Carrie. And yet, a lot of people believe in him. He's playing opposite Woodley in The Fault in Our Stars and has a part in Jason Reitman's upcoming Men, Women & Children.

Franchise potential: So far it's only Divergent, but don't rule him out.

Theo James

He's hot. He's really really hot.

Talent: Theo James smolders well. He smoldered a few years back on Downton Abbey as the man killed by Lady Mary's sex and he smolders in Divergent. Is he any good? Hard to tell. (Sorry, we did not watch the short lived CBS series Golden Boy.)  He's got two smaller films coming up that might be able to give us a better sense of what he can do aside from having excellent cheekbones: London Fields with Johnny Depp and Franny with Richard Gere.

Franchise potential: He's got nothing other than Divergent, but we fear he may go the way of Kit Harington. Don't make a Paul W. S. Anderson movie, Theo.

Zoe Kravitz

Poor, Zoe Kravitz, ending up at the bottom of this list.

Talent: Here's the biggest problem with Zoe Kravitz, who plays Tris's friend Christina in Divergent: she's had a lot of chances to impress and never really done so. Is she fine? Yes. Good? Who knows?

Franchise potential: She played second fiddle as Angel Salvadore in X-Men: First Class, but her character didn't make it to X-Men: Days of Future Past. She had a miniscule part in After Earth, but probably the less said about the movie the better. She'll be in the upcoming Mad Max reboot, but somehow it feels like Kravitz has had her chance and that chance has gone away.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.