Well, I think we’re at the point now where for the sake of a lot of producers we hope that Divergent doesn’t totally bomb. The movie, which is based on the worldwide best-seller by Veronica Roth , doesn’t come out for another month, but plans for the sequel are well underway, and now Robert Schwentke has been hired to helm it. Schwentke will take over from Neil Burger on Insurgent, the second of three films which is due in theaters in March 2015.
“We are excited to announce that we have found the perfect director to carry on the story of Tris Prior and the expanded world of Insurgent in Robert Schwentke,” said Lionsgate’s president of production Erik Feig in a statement. “Robert, with whom we have already had a successful relationship, has proven a master storyteller in multiple genres and we can’t wait to see what he brings to Veronica Roth’s next installment of the Divergent series. As well, we are very happy to welcome Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman to the team as executive producers.”
According to /Film, Akiva Goldsman is currently writing a new draft of the script, which was originally written by Brian Duffield. Production on the film is expected to get underway this coming May in Atlanta and Chicago with series stars Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller and Theo James all returning.
In the meantime, are you sick of Divergent yet? That’s the question a recent Cinema Blend article posed when writer Mack Rawden took note of the number of “hates” or “disinteresteds” on the site’s Facebook page whenever a Divergent article is posted. I wanted to test that, so I went to the one place on the internet where hate about movies is concentrated in its purest form, Ain’t It Cool News. Here’s a sample of some of the vitriol:
“I’m looking forward to the third movie: Detergent”
“There are 2 simple reasons why I shall not spend any money watching this movie. 1) It’s been done to death. 2) The main chick is fugly.”
“It’s the Hunger Games meets…the Shitty Hunger Games.”
“Bombs away, it’s YA.”
“This storyline sounds tarded.”
“So basically, the author tossed “The Hunger Games” and “City of Ember” in a blender, hit pulse 3 times, and made millions? I’m going to do that with “The Maltese Falcon” and “Calvin and Hobbes” and see what spits out.”
Cinema Blend may have a point, but those stacks of Divergent novels aren’t sitting there on a table at your local bookstore because they ordered too many and there’s no room to store them in the back.
As for hiring Schwentke, that’s unlikely to give people optimism considering that his last film was R.I.P.D., but he did direct RED and made it a surprise hit in the process and widely steered clear of RED 2. He also directed The Time Traveler’s Wife and Flightplan, which weren’t… terrible, so who knows what he’ll make of Insurgent? Assuming of course that Divergent is the smash success they want it to be.
I guess we’ll find out officially on March 21, 2014.