Lionsgate has announced that the Divergent sequel Insurgent has begun production in Atlanta, barreling towards the film’s March 20, 2015 release date. That’s a rather quick turnaround for the futuristic thriller since Divergent only just opened in theaters this past March, and especially given that director Robert Schwentke (Red) has only been on the project for a couple of months. Schwentke takes over directorial duties from Neil Burger, who was too busy completing post-production on Divergent to be able to prep and shoot Insurgent in the allotted time.
Hit the jump for more on Insurgent, including the full press release and official synopsis. The film stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Jai Courtney, Mekhi Phifer, and Maggie Q.
The follow-up picks up directly after the events of the first film, as Shailene Woodley’s Tris and Theo James’ Four are on the run from power-hungry Erudite leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet), beginning to uncover secrets about the past and future of their world. Octavia Spencer is the only major casting addition for Insurgent to be announced thus far, but further announcements are said to be forthcoming. She plays Amity leader Johanna.
Mimicking the pace of the Hunger Games franchise, two more installments in the Divergent series are due in addition to Insurgent. The final book in author Veronica Roth’s trilogy has been split into two films, Allegiant – Parts 1 & 2, to be released on March 18, 2016 and March 24, 2017, respectively.
Read the full press release concerning Insurgent below.
Santa Monica, CA – May 27, 2014 – Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) announced today that principal photography has commenced in Atlanta on the feature film adaptation of INSURGENT, the second installment of the blockbuster DIVERGENT action adventure franchise, starring Golden Globe® nominated Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Academy Award® winner Kate Winslet. Academy Award® winner Octavia Spencer joins returning cast members Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q and Mekhi Phifer. Based on author Veronica Roth’s New York Times best seller, the film is being directed by Robert Schwentke from a screenplay by Brian Duffield and Akiva Goldsman. Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher are producing the film through their Red Wagon Entertainment banner along with Pouya Shahbazian. Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman are executive producing through their Mandeville Films banner along with Neil Burger and Barry Waldman. Lionsgate will release INSURGENT theatrically in North America through its Summit Entertainment label on Friday, March 20, 2015.
INSURGENT raises the stakes for Tris as she searches for allies and answers in the dystopian ruins of a futuristic Chicago. Tris (Woodley) and Four (James) are now fugitives on the run, hunted by Jeanine (Winslet), the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite. Racing against time, they must find out what Tris’s family sacrificed their lives to protect, and why the Erudite leaders will do anything to stop them. Haunted by her past choices but desperate to protect the ones she loves, Tris, with Four at her side, faces one impossible challenge after another as they unlock the truth about the past and ultimately the future of their world.
“Divergent” was written by first time author Veronica Roth and has topped The New York Times Best Seller list since being published in April 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins Publishers. Book sales of the “Divergent” trilogy have surged to nearly 22 million copies worldwide, up from 17 million at the time of DIVERGENT’s March 21 release.
DIVERGENT has already grossed more than $260 million at the worldwide box office, making the film Lionsgate’s highest-grossing domestic box office release outside THE HUNGER GAMES and TWILIGHT franchises.
The third and fourth installments in the series, ALLEGIANT – PARTS 1 & 2, are slated for release on March 18, 2016 and March 24, 2017, respectively.
Erik Feig, Co-President of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, and Gillian Bohrer, Lionsgate’s EVP of Production & Development, are overseeing the project for the studio.