Ever since it was announced I have been fairly skeptical of the Divergent movie. I’m not going to lie about that. The first two books in the series were pretty good and I enjoyed them. Veronica Routh knew how to really hit hard with the action and the twists. It was a very cinematic, fast paced series. So with the success of Harry Potter, Twilight, and the Hunger Games in mind I think I knew even while I was reading them that it was likely that they could be optioned into a movie. But when I heard that it was, in fact, going to be a film I just really wasn’t sure what to think.
There are just some things in the book that I didn’t really think would work on screen. I didn’t know how they would consolidate all of the plot into just two hours. In general I just wondered how they were going to tell such a complex story with such a complex world in such a limited period of time and have it satisfy a crowd that has come to expect really big things of young adult adaptations.
And then, of course, we had Shailene Woodley cast as Tris. I have a problem accepting Shailene Woodley in pretty much anything and that hesitation stems entirely from being forced to watch Secret Life of the American Teenager by my mother and my sisters every time I went home for summer or during the holidays. I just couldn’t stand that show at all. I’m actually close to shaking in anger just typing this. That show has potentially ruined Shailene Woodley for me forever which is unfortunate because she actually seems to be a nice person. And from what I’ve heard of her performance in the Descendants -and what I’ve seen of her in trailers for the Spectacular Now and the footage from Divergent… she actually seems like she can act. Why she didn’t in Secret Life I’ll never understand. It’s kind of like the kids from Twilight. I know they can act. They just didn’t in those movies.
But I digress.
This is a post about the Divergent footage and how FREAKIN’ AWESOME IT WAS AND OMG.
I’m not kidding. I’m not being sarcastic. The film looked absolutely amazing. I’m not the sort of person who just throws that out there, either. Neither is Therese whose reaction to the first footage from Divergent was, “Holy shit, I kind of want to see this movie now.” This is very high praise coming from her, believe me.
So, what did the footage show?
It’s hard to really explain what we saw – especially to people who haven’t seen the books. I can tell you that we saw Tris and her fellow initiates into the Dauntless faction jumping off a train and on to a building which they were promptly told to jump off of and into a giant seemingly endless pit in the ground. It looked amazing. The scenes were chilling and got your heart racing even in just the few seconds we had to view them. But unless you know the story or can see it yourself you can’t really feel it.
I can tell you about Shailene Woodley showing how she can hold her own in the faction even though she’s come from a much different faction originally. Theo James is pretty freakin’ hot which you can see from the images. But you can’t see how well the two of them seem to match up as Tris and Four.
A lot of the footage was just brief little clips showing you just how intense the film is going to be. We saw Tris choosing Dauntless, being tattooed, sparring with Four, a lot of clips of guns and other badassery. We also got to see Kate Winslet whose apparently in this movie. Who knew? (I probably should have.)
It ended with a pretty intense shot of Four throwing knives at Tris which is a big deal from the books if any of you have read them. He throws them around her still body and one gets so close that it actually does cut her on the ear.
Bam. Footage. Epic. Seriously.
Afterward, the panel went through a sort of Q&A moderated by Chris Hardwick (who I freakin’ love) which was really enlightening. The author was there and she was pretty much adorable. I really like Veronica Routh – she seems really down-to-Earth and it seemed like she was genuinely having a good time at Comic Con. And in Hall H nonetheless! If it were me I’d be terrified.
You can watch the whole panel for yourself below on YouTube. Minus the footage, of course.