Fandango’s Sneak Peek Of ‘Divergent’ With Director Neil Burger

Fandango was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of Divergent with its director Neil Burger! See what they had to say!


Back in May, Fandango 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 post-apocalyptic 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.


The Scene

As teased in the trailer, we see a brief interaction between Beatrice and her test administrator, Maggie Q’s Tori. Tori hands her a vial of clear liquid and Beatrice drinks as instructed. One second, Beatrice is laying on the table, talking with Tori, but immediately after drinking the serum, she turns over and Tori is gone. A moment later, Beatrice sees herself in Tori’s place. She approaches the mirror image but just before their hands touch, the camera pans away, revealing more mirror images of Beatrice, and then again revealing a seemingly endless number of incarnations. Finally, one speaks up, demanding that Beatrice #1 choose between a knife and slab of raw meat. Beatrice enquires, “Why? What do I do with them?”

Immediately after, she gets her answer.

There’s a vicious, snarling dog right in front of her. The camera stays on Beatrice as she bends down and when we cut back to the dog, it’s turned into an adorable, harmless puppy. Then, just like the book, a child appears across the room, but the child in the film version is donning Abnegation grey giving the impression that she’s meant to be a young Beatrice. The young girl shouts, “Puppy,” and the dog returns to its original form and chases after her. Just in the nick of time, big Beatrice lunges on top of the beast and both sink down into a liquefied floor. Then it’s back to the aptitude test room where a frantic Tori insists that Beatrice tell her family that the serum made her sick. When Beatrice pries for her results, Tori explains, “Your results were inconclusive,” and warns, “It’s extremely rare. They call it Divergent.”

The Verdict

Even though Burger noted that the visual effects are works in progress, the mirror trick looks fantastic. We can’t be inside Beatrice’s head during her aptitude test quite like we are in the book, but between the meaning behind what she’s experiencing and the additional access via Woodley’s performance, the sequence is both enthralling and telling.

Fear Landscapes

Later on in the narrative, there’s another serum that’s pivotal to the latter half of the dauntless initiation process, the fear landscapes. Burger explained, “[Tris’] first half of training is physical, fighting and shooting, all that and the knife throwing. And then the second half of training is psychological, having to face your worst fears.” Burger noted that while those fears are very specific in the book, in his film, they expand them. “They’re very contained in the book and we kind of set them out – some of them – in the real world, or in sort of a bizarre real world. We put her outside the fence in certain places.”

Questions for Veronica

Burger kept Roth close by to insure he had a firm understanding of her book and how the world works, but he also took it one step further by trying to get a grasp on the little things, some of which are so little, they’re never even mentioned in the book. “When she’s writing a certain scene, certain things don’t matter to you, but when you’re looking at it in the movie, it’s like, okay, how is it lit? What’s powering those lights or whatever it is? Do they have money? Do they have pets? Where do they get their food? Not just from the Amity farms, but what’s a market like or isn’t there one? How is it distributed?” When asked if we’d see any of those things in the film, specifically pets, Burger laughed and explained, “You don’t see pets. A little bit. You get a sense of the world a little bit. But the movie’s very much from [Beatrice’s] point of view and so you’re going on her journey rather than wandering in the world.”

On Allegiant

If you’ve read Roth’s most recent release, Allegiant, it’s nearly impossible to look at components of Divergent the same way, especially the variety serums. When asked if having read Allegiant colored his take on Divergent, Burger admitted, “Yeah, no, it did and I was talking to Veronica while she was writing it and so I didn’t know everything that was coming, but I knew some of it so that we’d make sure we’d go off on a particular path. But yes, it’s an interesting situation in that Allegiant is so extreme in a way, but I think this movie stands on its own.”

Read the rest HERE


BuzzSugar’s Interview With ‘Divergent’ Neil Burger

Check out this interview that buzzsugar did with Divergent director Neil Burger!


We’re eagerly anticipating March 14, the release date for the big-screen adaptation of Divergent, Veronica Roth’s novel about a girl, Tris (Shailene Woodley), finding her way in a society that is divided into factions. We recently sat down with director Neil Burger and got a peek at a few of the scenes — many of which we saw a sliver of in the most recent trailer. We saw Tris get nicked by Four (love interest Theo James) in the knife-throwing sequence, Tris’s troubling aptitude test, and, best of all, a kissing scene between Tris and Four! We also chatted with Burger and a few other reporters about the scene in question — which you can watch below! — and he opened up about the very real chemistry between Woodley and James, James’s “real man” status, and that pesky Hunger Games comparison.

What’s the dynamic of the relationship between Four and Tris?
Neil Burger: I think what’s cool about the relationship is that they don’t fall in love in the beginning. There’s real friction and certainly sexual tension in their relationship, but he’s incredibly hard on her. [He’s] really pushing her, and it just has a different kind of feel to it. He’s like a stone wall, just gives nothing. It’s really confusing to her, and it’s compelling for her, and you see that in that knife throw. He cuts her, but he sort of does it on purpose, because that’s actually the only way to get her off the hook in front of Eric, who’s a real dangerous character. And then obviously later, they come together.

Why did you cast Theo James as Four?
NB: Because he’s a real man. He is. And he is tough as nails, and he is really intimidating. Shailene, actually, is a really strong actress. She’s powerful herself, and we needed somebody that was more powerful than her, which wasn’t easy to find. We found somebody who intimidated her, basically. He’s an incredible fighter. He really has those chops. There’s a number of scenes in the movie where he fights, and he’s amazing, as well as having this really wonderful quality. I’ve said this before, that he has this combination of Paul Newman crossed with Bruce Lee. He’s this wonderful man, but then he has an exotic quality to him as well. And they — Shailene and Theo — have a real natural chemistry, which you hope for. They really cared for each other and amused each other and were turn on by each other, actually. That’s partly what’s going on in the movie as well, minus the “maybe they amused each other.” There’s this sort of palpable energy for a number of different reasons in the story. They’re both from Abnegation, he’s this stone wall, he’s got these incredible secrets as well, which makes him vulnerable, which makes him put up his guard more.

Is there more or less romance in the movie than there is in the book?
NB: I think it’s similar to the book, but I think what you have is an atmosphere of sexual tension throughout the movie. There’s the romance that’s the kissing and the giving in; then there’s the cat and mouse, the dance leading up to it. That’s what there is a lot of. The movie is incredibly romantic in that way. It has this quality of romance, because they are eyeing each other and tiptoeing around each other each in their different way. There is this palpable attraction and friction and electricity between them in the while movie.

What do you make of the Hunger Games comparison to Divergent?
NB: It’s annoying. [But] this movie probably exists because of the success of that movie, and that movie exists because Twilight was a success, and Harry Potter. These movies have a lineage. The comparison, yeah, it is annoying; it is, however, a young woman in a postapocalyptic society, so the comparisons are inevitable. However, as I said, going inside this world, that’s a very prominent part of this story. This is a far more complex story than Hunger Games, and if you know the book, she starts out questioning her place in society and questioning society itself in a real way.


Watch Four and Tris in the First Exclusive Divergent Clip!

As promised Entertainment Tonight and  Yahoo! Movies  has debuted the first official clip from Divergent which features Tris and Four, and a pretty great look at his back tattoo!

We’d love to know what you think about this clip–do you love it??  Let us know!



Preview Divergent Exclusive First Clip Which Will Debut Tomorrow

Entertainment Tonight will be airing the very first full clip from Divergent tomorrow night, followed Yahoo! Movies Online at 6:00 pm!  See preview below!

Let us know what you hope to see in tomorrow’s big reveal!

Scheduling Issues Prevent Neil Burger from Directing Insurgent

Today Summit Entertainment announced that due to scheduling issues, director Neil Burger will not be able to direct Divergent sequel, Insurgent.  See below for the official statement.


“Neil Burger is a rock star and he is doing a fantastic job on Divergent.  We can’t wait for you to see the film.  But as amazing as Neil is he still cannot be in two places at once and thus needs to finish post production on Divergent while we gear up to start production on Insurgent.  So, although Neil will continue on as part of our Divergent family as an executive producer, we sadly have to find another director for the next chapter in Veronica Roth’s fantastic series.”
–  Summit Entertainment

Allegiant Makes Barnes & Noble’s Best New Books for Teens 2013 List

Barnes & Noble has released their list of the best new books in 2013 and the “Books for Teens” category includes Veronica Roth’s final book in the Divergent trilogy, Allegiant!


Here’s the complete list of books that made it in the teen category:

— Allegiant (Divergent Series #3) by Veronica Roth

— Asylum by Madeleine Roux

— Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

— The Elite (Selection Series #2) by Kiera Cass

— The Fault in Our Stars (B&N Exclusive Edition) by John Green

— The 5th Wave (Fifth Wave Series #1) by Rick Yancey

— Inferno (Chronicles of Nick Series #4) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

— The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

— Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

— Prodigy (Marie Lu’s Legend Series #2) by Marie Lu

— Requiem (Delirium Series #3) by Lauren Oliver

— Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

— The Runaway King (Book 2 of the Ascendance Trilogy) by Jennifer A.

— Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson


Veronica Roth Shares News About The ‘Four’ Stories

Veronica Roth has shared some news about the short stories she’s writing about Four on her blog! Find out what it is here!

Nikola-Nickart's Four

News About the “Four” Stories
Posted by Veronica Roth at 8:00 AM
All right, so it’s good news/bad news time.

Everyone always wants the bad news first, so here goes.

Bad News: the three remaining stories from Four’s perspective that I’ve been working on, which were supposed to come out later this year/early next year, have been delayed until July 2014. They’ll be bundled together and sold as a hardcover under the title Four: A Divergent Collection, with some fun extra content, and at that time they will also be released as separate e-stories (so, if you’ve already bought the first one, “The Transfer,” you don’t have to pay again for it in a collection if you don’t want to).

If you are asking, incredulously, “why, Veronica? Why must you do this to us?!” My answer is: the stories turned out much meatier and more substantial than I was originally anticipating when I started them. There’s just so much going on—Tobias’s reunion with his mother, his growing disillusionment with the faction system, and some of his early moments with Tris, to name a few. So I just really, really need more time to get them right. I know it sucks, but I am sure that this extra time will result in better work and better stories for everyone to read.

Okay. Good News:

-If you already pre-ordered the second story, “The Initiate,” your pre-order will not be canceled. It will just take a little longer for you to get it.
-The stories are long. As in, they’re about seventy pages each, so if you add them together you get about 280 pages of Tobias’s story. Which is as long as some novels. So there’s more to read!
-The price for the e-stories will not change, even though they’re longer than anticipated.
-The stories will be better in July than they would have been if they had come out this winter, because I’m going to work my butt off to make them that way!

Which is what I’m off to do right now, actually.