Insurgent has officially begun production. We've known since before the feature adaptation of Veronica Roth's dystopian young adult thriller Divergent hit theaters that Lionsgate was aiming to make a franchise out of the deal and that the second book in the trilogy, Insurgent, would be brought to theaters March 20, 2015. Today, the studio has announced that principal photography has commenced in Atlanta for Insurgent. The film will be the the second of four movies in the franchise, with the final book Allegiant being adapted into two movies, which will release in 2016 and 2017.
Divergent arrived in theaters March 21 and introduced us to Shailene Woodley's Tris Prior, a teen growing up in dystopian Chicago, where society is broken up into five factions, which determine how people live their lives. The story has Tris choosing her faction and beginning her training, which happens to take place on the brink of a major situation within their society. And that's about as spoiler-free as we can be with the plot, for those who have yet to read the books or see the film. We get a bit more detailed on the plot in the next paragraph.
While Neil Burger directed the first movie, Robert Schwentke has been tapped to helm the followup, which will raise the stakes for Tris -- spoilers if you haven't seen Divergent -- as she searches for allies and answers in the wake of the uprising at the end of Divergent. The sequel will have Tris and Four (Theo James) on the run, being hunted by Kate Winslet's Jeanine Matthews, the leader of the brainy but power-hungry Erudite faction. Tris and Four will be racing against time as they try to figure out Matthews' master plan and do whatever it takes to stop her and her people from carrying it out.
Those who've read the book know that Insurgent moves around quite a bit, and it sounds like that's going to be the case for the movie, as the official description for Insurgent notes that Tris will be facing "one impossible challenge after another" while she and her allies try to "unlock the truth about the past and ultimately the future of their world. ." There's also a mention of Tris being "haunted by her past choices," which may be a nod to the final act of Divergent, and some of the things she had to do in order to survive.
Lionsgate confirmed some of the cast in their announcement today, stating that -- in addition to the return of Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet -- Zoe Kravitz (Christina), Ansel Elgort (Caleb), Miles Teller (Peter), Jai Courtney (Eric), Mekhi Phifer (Max), Ray Stevenson (Marcus) and Maggie Q (Tori) will also be returning for Insurgent. And as we reported earlier this month, Octavia Spencer has joined the cast to play the role of Johanna. Expect more casting announcements for Insurgent in the future.
At present, Divergent has accrued more than $260 million at the worldwide box office. It stands to bring in even more money once the film hits Blu-ray/DVD this summer.