The futuristic Chicago of “Divergent” has just found another resident. After months of being a “maybe,” Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet has joined the Erudite faction in Neil Burger’s upcoming adaptation of the YA hit as Jeanine Matthews.
The original reports of Winslet’s involvement in “Divergent” came back in January when Variety claimed the actress was nearing a deal, but neglected to specify which role she would take on. Two popular theories soon followed, one suggesting that Winslet play the mother of Tris, the film’s heroine (played by heroine played by Shailene Woodley), and the other suggesting Jeanine, the more morally ambiguous role.
“Divergent,” based on the book by Veronica Roth, tells the story of Beatrice “Tris” Prio, who lives in Chicago sometime in the future, after the social structures as we know them have collapsed. Society is now split up into five separate factions, each valuing one attribute above all else. For example, Winslet’s Jeanine Matthews leads the Erudite faction, which identifies as the most intelligent people of this futuristic society.
At the age of 16, all citizens must take an aptitude test and then choose their lifelong faction, something that proves more difficult for Tris than most people.
The YA adaptation has recently been ramping up its casting to include Jai Courtney, Maggie Q and Woodley’s “Spectacular Now” co-star Miles Teller. Most recently, Theo James of “Downton Abbey” joined the film as Tris’ love interest, Four. Some key roles, including that of Tris’ mother, have yet to be cast.
Filming for “Divergent” begins in April in Chicago, with the film hitting theaters on March 21, 2014.