IGN – Summit gave fans at today’s San Diego Comic-Con their first look at Divergent, the futuristic action thriller based on the bestselling novel by Veronica Roth.
The author herself was on hand to present exclusive footage from the film and was joined on the panel by director Neil Burger and cast members Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Maggie Q, Ansel Elgort, Mekhi Phifer, Ben Lamb, Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Christian Madsen.
Divergent is set in a futuristic world where society has been divided into five factions. As each person approaches adulthood, he or she must choose a faction and commit to it for the rest of their life. Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) chooses Dauntless — the daring risk-takers who pursue bravery above all else. During the Dauntless initiation, Tris completes death-defying stunts and faces her inmost fears in spectacular simulations.
When she discovers she is a Divergent, someone who will never be able to fit into just one faction, she is warned that she must conceal this secret or risk her life. As Tris uncovers a looming war which threatens her family and the life of the mysterious Dauntless leader whom she has come to love, Tris must face her greatest test yet — deciding whether revealing she is a Divergent will save her world — or destroy it.
As the first Hall H panel to showcase exclusive footage this year, Divergent brought with it a brand new, never-before-seen sneak peek at the film — just two days after the production wrapped. (Warning: Footage SPOILERS to follow.)
The footage opens on a sea of people running in a dystopian Chicago, attempting to catch a speeding train. We then see Woodley as Tris among the stampede as she manages to hop aboard with several others. The small group then jumps off the train to meet with a small gathering atop a high building. One authority figure announces to the group, “If you don’t have the guts to jump, you don’t belong in Dauntless.”
This is when Tris steps forward to make “the jump.” She walks up to the ledge of the building as the crowd watches in silence. After a deep breath, Tris leaps off the ledge and plummets into the chasm below — but just at the last second, she’s caught by a net in an underground shelter shrouded in darkness. She’s greeted by James’s Four, who tells Tris to pick her name. She replies, “My name is Tris.” (Duh.)
Following that, the footage kicks into high gear with a training montage, as Tris learns, among other things, hand-to-hand combat and knife throwing. At the very end of the clip, Tris stands in front of one of the targets, and Four throws a dagger that just barely grazes her ear — smash-cut to title.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the footage screened did have a distinct Hunger Games vibe — very serious, slick action sequences, a bit of implied romance — basically all the makings of another hormone-fueled YA movie adaptation. That said, it does look like there are going to be some pretty cool set pieces as well as a bit of drama for the younger set.
In addition to a Q&A after the clip screening, Roth shared a bit of new info on the third book in the Divergent trilogy, which she’s currently writing. In this latest installment, the story will be told from two perspectives: Tris’s and Four’s.
Divergent opens stateside March 21, 2014.