Tag Archives: Neil Burger

‘Divergent’ Fan Review: How Does the Movie Compare to Veronica Roth’s Book?

DivergentThe first film in a potential young-adult book-to-film franchise is always a challenge. Not only do you have to convey a compelling narrative, but you also must establish an entire world around it, and in Divergent’s case, that’s quite the undertaking. The concept of a society being divided up into five factions is a strong starting point, but what makes the book a particularly engaging read is how that lifestyle sparks interfaction rivalries, family strife, personal problems, ethical issues and more. Director Neil Burger and the folks behind the screenplay do a standout job building this world and then filling it with meaningful details that newcomers can understand, appreciate and enjoy, but what about those who are already familiar with the ins and outs of this realm?

Click here to read more.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Review: Divergent

Divergent_PosterAfter a slew of young adult book-to-film adaptations essentially crashed and burned, it’s finally time for “The Hunger Games” to make some room because the quality of “Divergent” justifies all of the hype and gives the film a solid shot at becoming a successful franchise-starter, too.

The story takes place in a future Chicago in which society is divided up into five factions based on core values. The Abnegation place precedence on selflessness, Erudite believe intelligence is of the utmost importance, Dauntless pride themselves on bravery, Amity on peace and Candor on honesty. Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) is a member of Abnegation, but that could change come the Choosing Ceremony. Even though she was born into that faction, it’ll ultimately be her decision what kind of life she wants to lead. Does she stick with her family or follow her gut? The Aptitude Test is supposed to help with that, but in Beatrice’s case, it only makes the choice more difficult because she didn’t test positive for just one faction, but rather three. Beatrice is Divergent.

Even if you’ve only seen a single trailer for “Divergent,” it’s quite clear that it’s a tricky scenario to explain. Some story components get lost in the mix, but the screenwriters do manage to convey the basics in a dynamic fashion. The film opens with Beatrice running through the preliminary details via voiceover, but soon enough, they’re paired with the appropriate visuals, and, much quicker than one might expect, you’re consumed by this world and ready to start exploring the details of the situation, and then Woodley takes it from there.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

We Get a Sneak Peek at ‘Divergent’ with Neil Burger

divergent-posterBack in May, we had the privilege of visiting the Chicago set of the adaptation of Veronica Roth’s Divergent and just last week, it was off to the film’s Los Angeles edit bay to check out what director Neil Burger has accomplished as he creeps closer to locking in his final cut.

For those in need of the basics, Divergent takes place in a postapocalyptic world where the population is divided into five factions based on a citizen’s core values – Abnegation for selflessness, Dauntless for bravery, Amity for peace, Candor for honesty, and Erudite for intelligence. Shailene Woodley’s Beatrice Prior is born into Abnegation, but come the Choosing Ceremony, she’ll get the opportunity to decide for herself; stick with her family, or trust her gut and leave them behind for a new faction.

Fortunately Beatrice doesn’t have to make this life-changing decision all on her own. Prior to the Choosing Ceremony, all 16-year-olds undergo an aptitude test that reveals an individual’s disposition towards a particular faction. Trouble is, Beatrice’s results are “inconclusive,” and that’s where our preview of the film began.

Click here to read more on Fandango or here to read more on Movies.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features, Interviews

‘Divergent’ Set Visit, Part 2: ‘Divergent’ vs. ‘Hunger Games’

DivergentCBD_02576TOPAfter the monumental success of The Hunger Games, it’s impossible to release another young-adult, book-to-film adaptation without folks drawing comparisons. Sure, Divergent also involves teenagers in life-or-death situations and a little dystopian romance, but they’re also strikingly different in a number of respects.

While on the Divergent set in Chicago, producer Douglas Wick and the cast of the film pinpointed a few elements that make their YA adaptation a standout.
Hunger Games Is Rural, Divergent Is Urban: “We were always mindful that there would be that comparison,” Wick admitted.  “The Hunger Games is mostly in the woods. Much of the visuals of the movie are people fighting in a kind of rustic environment. Here, our movie is very much in an urban world.”
Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

‘Divergent’ Set Visit, Part 1: Who’s Who and What’s What

Divergent_TrainIn the future, Chicago residents are divided into five factions based on their core values: “Abnegation” (values selflessness), “Dauntless” (courage), “Amity” (peacefulness), “Candor” (honesty) and “Erudite” (intelligence). Together, they keep society afloat in a crumbling, dystopian version of the familiar city.

The world of Divergent may boil down to the five factions, but the narrative is loaded with striking story and location details that are vital to the experience, and if the team of filmmakers behind the production were going to bring this world to life at all, they were going to do it right. On our visit to the film’s Chicago-based sets last May, we learned more about the elements that are bound to make Divergent, coming out next March, stand out.

Welcome to the new dystopia: Production designer Andy Nicholson said, “We wanted to do something different that wasn’t dystopian dystopia,” explaining, “mainly it’s a lot of use of color.” Director Neil Burger added, “I wanted to do it very real, not raw in a gritty way, but raw in an immediate and intimate way.”

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

Why Alex Pettyfer Could Hurt ‘Divergent’

Alex-PettyferThe Hunger Games dodged the bullet, but Divergent looks like it could get hit in a way that really might hurt. Via DivergentSeries.netOh No They Didn’t! is reporting that Alex Pettyfer is confirmed for the role of Four in the young adult book-to-film adaptation.

Shailene Woodley will lead as 16-year-old Beatrice Prior, a girl living in a time when the population is divided into factions based on lifestyle and values. Beatrice is born into Abnegation, the group that shuns self-indulgence and vows to act selflessly, but come the Choosing Ceremony, Beatrice will finally be able to decide for herself if that’s the path she wants to take or if she’ll leave her family and everything she’s ever known behind for a different faction. Whether she goes with Abnegation or not, Beatrice still must endure a rigorous initiation process before being accepted as a full-fledged member — and that’s where Four comes in. Four is Beatrice’s initiation instructor and, not surprisingly, her love interest.

I’ve been championing Divergent for quite a while as the next big, quality YA book-to-film adaptation and after director Neil Burger snagged Woodley to lead, it seemed close to a sure thing. Then news broke that Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet was circling a role, further suggesting that Divergent could have more to offer than most. But now, if this latest update is true, one casting misstep could wind up decimating the movie’s potential.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

What Is ‘Divergent,’ and Why It May Be the Next ‘Hunger Games’

With Ender’s GameThe Mortal InstrumentsWarm BodiesIncarceronThe Night Circus, Switched and so many more on the way, which upcoming adaptation really has the chance of replacing The Twilight Saga and following in The Hunger Games’ footsteps? While all have pros, cons and all the potential in the world until we see the full feature, I find that it’s Veronica Roth’s Divergent that has the best shot at being the next big, successful franchise.

Summit’s had the rights to the series since February 2011, but is first making moves toward bringing the film version to fruition now. It was recently revealed that Limitless director Neil Burger is in early talks to direct and, just the other day, Variety broke the news that the studio has set the film for a March 21, 2014 release. Remind you of a certain very successful book-to-film March release?

Divergent certainly has the most going for it, making it the most likely to become the next big thing. Here’s what you need to know about it now …

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features