Comic-Con 2013: ‘Divergent’ Summit Entertainment Panel and Footage Recap

Comic-Con 2013 Divergent Panel Recap

Finishing shooting only days prior to the panel, the cast of Summit Entertainment’s latest flick, Divergent, made their rounds at Comic-Con 2013 this week. The author, Veronica Roth, welcomed the thousands of fans attending the Hall H panel along with director Neil Burger as well as cast members Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Maggie Q, and more. Check out the full panel recap for Divergent at SDCC after the break and learn what you can expect in the first trailer.  

To many, Divergent has flown under the radar to those looking for the next young adult adventure film. This latest sci-fi sensation is one of a trilogy of books written by Veronica Roth adapted for the screen. Here’s a brief overview of the plot courtesy of the official Veronica Roth website:

In Beatrice Prior’s (Shailene Woodley) dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

The book itself debuted at #6 on the New York Times Children’s Chapter Books Best Seller list, and remained there for 11 weeks. Roth herself said during the panel that she is currently finishing the third book in the series, Allegiant, and that it is written slightly different than in the previous entries. From what Roth claims, the third book is written from the perspective of both Beatrice aka ‘Tris’ and Four – played in the movie by Theo James.

Trying to set her apart from other young adult novels out there, Roth explains that she didn’t want Tris to be looked at as a superhero, rather a real teenage girl who has to rise to the occasion and become brave to help herself and others around her. Based on what she has seen on set, she is very excited as to what Neil Burger has done to help realize the world. In particular, Roth says a particular ‘water tank’ scene was the most impressive thing she saw.

Along with Woodley, James, Q, and Teller, a good chunk of the cast also appeared including Zoe Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, Mekhi Phifer, Ben Lamb, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Amy Nebold, and Christian Madsen. To celebrate the coming together of fans, the Divergent crew brought the first footage ever seen of the film. What was shown might have been a bit confusing to those who have never read the books, but it showcased a good amount of Woodley in action. Overall it was interesting to see where this movie’s tone will go and how it is setting itself up to differentiate itself from other young adult adaptations.

Divergent is set to hit theaters in the US on March 21, 2014


(Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the images)

The sizzle reel began with a bunch of teenagers running through the streets of Chicago. Everyone starts climbing the struts of the El – Chicago’s transit system – and then winds up in some moving train cars. Woodley and Kravitz then jump off the train with the rest of the teens onto the rooftops of warehouses. From there, in order to be accepted into the Dauntless region, everyone must show their bravery by jump off the building into a dark cavernous hole between buildings. Beatrice is the first to step up. When she falls through the hole she lands on security netting and meets Four. She is asked to pick her name, the only name she will go by for now on, and she goes with Tris.

After the rest of the group descends into Dauntless, they are welcomed by a celebration and crowd surfing. From here we get a montage of scenes, mostly of Tris trying to prove her bravery while learning to find out who she is. We see Tris and Four get touchy feely, martial arts training, gun fire, knive throwing, tattoos, the works. For a split second, you may have missed it, we do get a glimpse of Kate Winslet as Jeanine Matthews.

I wouldn’t consider this footage a full-on trailer, but it did give viewers something to look out for when the trailer does hit. It looks pretty clean, not so gritty like The Hunger Games, but a fairly similar tone. To me, what was shown was more fan service, to make sure those who know the story get the sense that they are adapting the book correctly. And based on the cheers, I would say the fans would approve. Me on the other hand, I had no idea what was going on based on what I saw, but I look forward to seeing more due to all the hype surrounding the story.


(Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge the images)

For more Comic-Con 2013 coverage, follow the SDCC tag on the site or you can find TTRC on Facebook or Twtiter for more updates as they are made available.

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