Divergent Begins Production, Mekhi Phifer And Ray Stevenson Join The Cast

Following on the huge success of the Twilight franchise, Summit-Lionsgate continues to target the young adult audience with feature adaptations of popular book series. We have The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to look forward to this fall, along with the sci-fi film Ender's Game. And coming to theaters next March (2014) is Divergent, the feature adaptation of the first novel in Veronica Roth's YA dystopian series. The film has added two more to its cast and has begun production this week.

Summit announced today that production on the anticipation film Divergent began today in Chicago, which is where the story is set. It should be interesting to see how Chicago is transformed for the film, as the story is set in the future in what's left of the Windy City. Residents in the rundown city are divided into five factions, which determine a person's way of life. In the film, Shailiene Woodley will play the lead character Tris, a young woman who comes of age and must decide if she will stay with her family's faction or choose a different path. The twist is that, prior to deciding, she learns that she's "Divergent," which is not a good thing, and means she'll never fully fit into one faction. Tris keeps this secret as she makes her choice and joins other trainees as they undergo a series of tests to find their place among their faction.

The film is directed by Neil Burger and also stars Maggie Q (Tori), Jai Courtney (Eric), Kate Winslet (Jeanine), Ansel Elgort (Caleb), Miles Teller (Peter), Zoe Kravitz (Christina) and Theo James, who's playing male lead, Four. Along with the announcement that production had commenced, Summit announced that Mekhi Phifer and Ray Stevenson have joined the cast. Pfiefer - whose credits include ER, Lie To Me and the most recent season of Torchwood, as well as 8 Mile and Dawn of the Dead - will play the role of Max, one of the leaders of the faction where Tris is training. Stevenson - who played Isaak Sirko in the most recent season of Dexter, and also counts G.I. Joe Retaliation and Thor: The Dark World among his recent credits - will play the role of Marcus, Four's father.

With a little less than a year to wait for the film's expected release (March 21, 2014), those who haven't read the book still have plenty of time to do that. Divergent is the first book, which was published in 2011. Roth has since followed up with a second novel, Insurgent. The third, which has yet to be titled, is due out this fall and is available for pre-order.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site. She an expert in all things Harry Potter, books from a variety of genres (sci-fi, mystery, horror, YA, drama, romance -- anything with a great story and interesting characters.), watching Big Brother, frequently rewatching The Office, listening to Taylor Swift, and playing The Sims.