Earlier this year, Summit Entertainment launched a new franchise with Divergent. The adaptation of the first novel in author Veronica Roth’s trilogy bore some resemblance to another post-apocalyptic franchise, but director Neil Burger ensured that his futuristic sci-fi thriller would stand alone. He began by assembling an excellent cast led by Shailene Woodley, opted for a colorful visual approach heavy in luminosity, and took care in pleasing passionate fans of Roth’s source material. The result was a fun, thrilling, and somewhat surprising film that took in over $270 million at the worldwide box office and paved the way for the sequel, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, which is poised for release on March 20, 2015.
With Divergent being released on Blu-ray and DVD this week, I recently got the chance to speak with Burger over the phone. During the course of our interview, he discussed his reaction to the film’s success, the double-edge nature of the pre-release Hunger Games comparisons, the pain of removing the eye-stabbing subplot in the editing process, how much he knew about Allegiant ahead of time, and more. Additionally, Burger revealed that he was actually going to direct Insurgent but reshoots made the timetable impossible, and talked about the possibility of returning to the franchise to helm one of the Allegiant films. Read the interview after the jump.