Shailene Closing in on Deal to Star in ‘Divergent’

October 18, 2012

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Shailene Woodley, who just booked the coveted role of Mary Jane in the Spider-Man sequel, is closing in on a deal to to star in Divergent, Summit/Lionsgate’s adaptation of Veronica Roth’s YA novel.

Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher are producing as is Pouya Shahbazian. Neil Burger is directing.

The book, published in May 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books, is set in a future society, which is divided into factions based on human traits.

Woodley will star as a 16-year old girl who leaves her faction to join a rival faction and falls in love with a young man.

While having been an actor for years, Woodley caught the attention of most in Hollywood when she co-starred opposite George Clooney in Alexander Payne’s awards darling The Descendants. The role garnered her much acclaim as well as a Indie Spirit Award for best supporting actress.

She stars in Secret Life of the American Teenager, which was cancelled last week. ABC Family will play out the last 12 episodes in March. Woodley will also be seen in The Spectacular Now, being produced by Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps.

Woodley initially had scheduling issues as an obstacle in the dealmaking, having had offers to play both Mary Jane and the Divergent lead. But the Mary Jane part is proving to be only a very small part in Amazing Spider-Man 2 but builds to an integral lead for the planned third movie as the studio seeks to build to the classic Death of Gwen Stacy story.