We’re stuffing our jacket pockets with Kleenex as we speak! Variety announced today that Kate Winslet is currently in talks with Divergent director Neil Burger to joing the upcoming film based on the YA novel of the same name. While there’s no word as to what role the Academy Award-winning actress might take, based on what fans are squealing online we’re guessing Winslet would be awesome as Natalie Prior, wise, protective mother of Shailene Woodley‘s teen protagonist Tris. Alternately, Winslet could potentially be eying the role of Jeanine Matthews, the cunning, war-mongering leader of the book’s Erudite political faction. In either case…well, we won’t spoil the entire movie, but let’s just say there’s a reason Veronica Roth’s book series is described as “dystopian.” Things do not pan out for all the film’s major players.
The casting news comes just a few weeks after word that Alex Pettyfer, Lucas Till and Jeremy Irvine are still in the running to play Four, fellow future dweller and romantic interest to Woodley’s Tris. What do you think? Is Winslet destined to play Natalie? Are there any names you’d like to throw in the hat before the cast is confirmed (knowing of course that we are the only ones who will be reading from said hat)?
[Photo: Getty Images]
It’s been months since Shailene Woodley landed the role of Tris in Divergent, and the studio still hasn’t settled on who will play her hot older Dauntless mentor Four. Today, Variety reports that after testing four actors — Lucas Till, Brenton Thwaites, Luke Bracey and Jack Reynor — back in November, they’ve decided to retest Till along with Jeremy Irvine and Alex Pettyfer at the end of this week.
Till first came to our attention as Miley Cyrus‘ love interest in Hannah Montana: The Movie, and then in X-Men: First Class. We haven’t caught War Horse or anything else that Irvine has been in, but he wins over the others in the looks department (in our humble opinion). Pettyfer is the most troubling to us. Even though he’s the same age as the other two, 22, he reads older to us (and Four is supposed to be 18), maybe because the I Am Number Four star has been considered and rejected for just about every other male lead in a YA adaptation for the past three years. Also, he’s developed something of a nasty reputation in Hollywood, most recently for feuding with Channing Tatum on the set of Magic Mike. He’s undeniably good looking, with a tough Dauntless-worthy exterior, but we just wonder if he could capture the softer, Abnegation side of the character.
Even though we are offended that the filmmakers appear to be ignoring our choices entirely (and what ever happened to Evan Peters?), we’re super excited that this is one step closer to reality. The movie’s set for release on March 21, 2014.
Now tell us, which of these guys would you most want to see play Four?
[Photos: Getty Images]
If you aren’t a huge fan of Shailene Woodley, you’re gonna be. And soon! Seriously, we’re predicting K-Stew level fan hysteria in a very sort time. We caught flashes of the young actress’s huge talent when she took the lead role of Amy Juergens in The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, and her critically acclaimed role along side George Clooney in The Descendants last year blew us away. She’s on the brink of inking deals in two major movie franchises, and…she’s got really awesome hair. Yes, we’re more than a little obsessed with the gorgeous Ms. Shailene (even though it took us three tries to pronounce her name correctly), so in honor of her 21st birthday today, we’ve assembled 21 reasons why the world is about to go nuts over her. Enjoy!
1. She’s negotiating to star in the upcoming franchise, Divergent.
Trust us, this will go far to fill the void left by Twilight.
2. She’s also in “early talks” to play Mary Jane Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Uh, didn’t we (almost) call it? Our own Kate Spencer totally had Shailene Woodley as one of the possible actresses in our epic Divergent fantasy casting post. It’s times like these when we feel like we can see into the future. Like wizards! Like sexy, sexy wizards. So with apologies to Saorise Ronan (the fan favorite amongst you guys), we’re happy to report that the Descendants star is currently “negotiating” to play the lead in the film version of Veronica Roth‘s YA dysopia novel. Now we just got to get American Horror Story‘s Evan Peters onboard. You all saw the Asylum season premiere last night! You know you want to see him on the big screen!
In case you needed further proof Shailene’s going to be the next Jennifer Lawrence, might you remind you that girl might also be playing Spidey’s future wife Mary Jane Parker in the Amazing Spider-Man 2? Sorry Emma Stone! Oh, and we totally called Shailene’s Spider-Man 2 role too. At some point in the past. Just don’t ever go back and check to see whether we actually did or not. Just trust us. We mean, look at our cloaks, crystal balls and insanely long beards. Would we ever lead you astray?
[Photo: Getty Images]
Followers of VH1 Celebrity know that we’re big YA junkies around here, and we’re reeeeally excited for Veronica Roth’s Divergent to hit the big screen. American Horror Story’s Evan Peters is a favorite of ours for any and every role these days, so we asked him if he’d heard about Divergent or Lauren Oliver’s Delirium (also hopefully headed to a movie theater near you). Says Evan about Divergent: “My agent sent me that. I gotta read that!”
Um yes, you do! While Evan didn’t win our Divergent Dream Cast poll, we’d still love to see him make the transition to film, and think he’s got the emotional range to nail a part like Four (or maybe Augustus Waters in The Fault in Our Stars). What do you think, YA fans?
We also chatted with Evan about TV in general — this being the night when such things are celebrated — and the star admitted to his newly acquired habit: reality TV. Welcome to the club, Evan!
Divergent may be the most anticipated book-to-movie adaptation since The Hunger Games got its turn last year (though The Fault in Our Stars is surely a close second). With a release date of March 21, 2014, announced yesterday and rumors that Limitless director Neil Bruger is attached to the project, all we need now are a couple of pretty faces to obsess over. The roles of 16-year-old Tris and her love interest, Four, are sure to be a big get for any actor and we already have a few favorites already in mind. So does Twitter, where people are constantly proclaiming their love for certain stars they see fit for the leads. Let’s discuss some of our favorites here at VH1 Celeb headquarters, and then we want you to tell us who you envision getting their Dauntless on on the big screen.
Taissa Farmiga is my number one pick to play Tris, and I even have the author’s approval on this one. Veronica Roth once replied to my tweet about Taissa as Tris with “ooh. She’s spot on, looks wise.” Not only does she completely embody Tris physically, but her raw and vulnerable performance on American Horror Story proves she’s got the acting chops, too. Our friend and NextMovie editor Breanne Heldman loves Molly Quinn, telling Hollywood Crush, “Molly has a sass and intelligence that’s also so totally Tris.” Castle fans, do you agree?
We’re still squeeing over the fact that The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is really and truly being shot right now, so this latest news about another of our young-adult fiction faves feels like second Christmas: Summit is reportedly in talks with Neil Burger to direct Veronica Roth’s Divergent! This is just according to “sources” at Variety right now, and Summit isn’t commenting, but just the thought of getting this close to seeing Tris and Four and the Dauntless headquarters come to life on the big screen is super exciting. The studio is said to be aiming for a release in the first quarter of 2014.
Burger’s last film was Limitless, which earned plenty of kudos for star Bradley Cooper, who played a man who takes a drug that suddenly makes him a genius. But there was ample praise for Burger as well. “Director Neil Burger, whose first feature was the intriguing Interview With the Assassin from 2002, moves the story forward with an infectious energy,” read the Associated Press review. What do the words “infectious energy” bring to mind for you? A certain story about a young woman who lives in a dystopian Chicago where people must live in factions based on an aptitude test they take at age 16? We thought so too. Now we can get back to speculating on who should star…
Here’s a reminder of the look and feel of Limitless:
Author and screenwriter Ray Bradbury passed away last night at the age of 91, and he’ll be missed for a whole lot more than just those books on your high school reading list. Today, as you head into the theaters to see The Hunger Games and Prometheus, stroll down you bookstore aisle to pick up the latest hot dystopian YA novel, or flip on your ginormous flat-screen TV, you owe something to Bradbury. As much as we refer to George Orwell’s Big Brother of 1984, rail against the dangers of Aldous Huxley‘s Brave New World and conjure up nightmares of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, those book-burning “firefighters” of Fahrenheit 451 strikes fear into the hearts of many a reader and writer. His sci-fi writing (in short stories, The Ray Bradbury Theater TV show, and elsewhere), has also inspired many too follow in his imaginative footsteps. Granted we haven’t read his books since high school, so here, based largely on educated guesses and wild speculation, are 5 pop-culture things we owe the guy:
1. The Hunger Games: Fahrenheit 451 starkly contrasts the sterile, overstimulated emptiness of the dystopian city with the romanticized beauty of the country. Sound familiar?
[Warning: Spoilers ahead!]
Last night’s American Horror Story was full of what we’ve come to expect from the show: a butt shot or two, lots of blood, creepy babies and everybody dying. (Everyone that is, except Constance. How is that crazy b*tch still alive?!) We’re not even sure if we like the show or not. It’s kind of like egg nog — so delicious that it’s kind of gross but we can’t.stop.drinking.it. And while AHS is beyond wacky and sends us into eye roll spasms at times, the acting is what keeps us coming back: Connie Britton, Jessica Lange, Zachary Quinto, Dylan McDermott, Mena Suvari, Kate Mara, Burn-face Dude (the amazing Denis O’Hare), and the two Moiras (Frances Conroy and Alexandra Breckenridge) all rock the sh*t out of some of the weirdest characters ever created. But our two favorites out of this amazing crop of talent are Evan Peters and Taissa Farmiga, who play troubled ghost-human (and then ghost-ghost) teen lovers Tate and Violet.
We’re on the home stretch of Dystopian Week here on TheFABlife, Hollywood Crush and NextMovie.com, but we couldn’t leave without hearing more from one of the hottest authors on the scene — if there is a dystopian “scene” — Veronica Roth. Her badass Divergent reads so cinematically, we can already imagine how awesome the upcoming Summit flick is going to be. While we eagerly await the trilogy’s book two, Insurgent, due in May, we asked Veronica to play a little imagination game with us: What if you wrote utopian fiction? Here’s her answer:
If utopian fiction became the new trend, I wouldn’t read it.
If you actually succeed in creating a utopia, you’ve created a world without conflict, in which everything is perfect. And if there’s no conflict, there are no stories worth telling — or reading! It would be all, “Jenny thought she might not be able to attain her lifelong dream of marshmallow taste tester for a little while … but she did!” and, “John’s dad said he couldn’t go to the movies, so John asked really nicely and his dad changed his mind.” I’m bored already.
But if I were going to create a utopia, I would make a world in which everyone is focused on their personal, moral obligations, and strives to be the best possible version of themselves. They would be allowed to choose whatever path they wanted in life. They would know what was expected of them, they would have a clear purpose, and they would have a strong sense of group identity and belonging. And there would be five factions…
Oh, wait. I tried that already.