“Golden Boy” star Theo James is hopping aboard the “Divergent” train as Dauntless faction member Four, according to studio Summit Entertainment.
The 28-year-old actor, probably best known for his memorable (albeit short-lived) turn as Mr. Pamuk on “Downtown Abbey,” nabbed the lead role opposite “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” star Shailene Woodley, who will play heroine Beatrice “Tris” Prior.
“Divergent” is based on the 2012 best-selling young-adult novel by Veronica Roth — a dystopian thriller in which society has been divided into five factions, each upholding a particular virtue. Upon their 16th birthday, citizens are tested to determine their place. When Tris’ result comes back inconclusive (a.k.a Divergent), she leave her family’s faction and joins up with the brave (or, some would say reckless) Dauntless faction. Tobias “Four” Eaton is one of the faction’s instructors, and the two share an undeniable chemistry.
The casting process has been a long one (not dissimilar to the search for “The Hunger Games” hottie Peeta, a few years back), with actors like Alex Pettyfer and Jeremy Irvine rumored to be in the running.
When MTV News spoke to Woodley about the casting earlier this year, she had a very distinct idea of what the actor playing Four should bring to the role.
“The thing about Four is that he has to be a man. No feminine actors, please,” she said. “You cannot walk in that room in pretty little boots and pretend you’re a man. I’m sorry. You need to walk in there, and you need to not have muscles that look good and not actually work. There have been a few guys that have this power about them. It’s a natural masculine power that some people have and some people don’t. There’s nothing good or bad or wrong or right about it. This character needs to be extremely masculine, and his eyes need to scream vulnerability and sensitivity. It’s really hard to find in a dude, especially a dude who can act.”
In addition to Woodley and James, Variety reported yesterday that Jai Courtney has been cast in the role of Dauntless leader Eric, while Maggie Q, Zoe Kravitz and Ansel Elgort have also reportedly secured roles. Kate Winslet is also said to be eyeing a role.
“Divergent” will open in theaters March 21, 2014.