To be sure, progress on the big-screen adaptation of Veronica Roth’s dazzling dystopian tome “Divergent” has been anything but speeding-locomotive fast. Since the film rights were purchased by Summit Entertainment in March 2011, the only concrete news has been the appointment of screenwriter Evan Daugherty (though rumor has it that “Limitless” helmer Neil Burger is in talks to direct). Well, that all changed yesterday when Summit announced (via The Hollywood Reporter) that a release date has been set for the film. Mark your calendars for March 21, 2014!
For the uninitiated, “Divergent” is set in a near-future Chicago, where society has been split into five different factions dedicated to the cultivation of a specific virtue. All 16-year-olds must pledge allegiance to a faction. Readers meet Beatrice “Tris” Prior during the lead up to her big decision—one which will change the course of her life and many others.
With a release date set, we couldn’t help but wonder which pretty young thing in Hollywood will be pegged to play our heroine Tris and become the next big thing in YA adaptations (a la Jennifer Lawrence). As such, I assembled my fellow MTV YA Book Club members (yes, this exists) to gather their picks, which include a vampire, a fashionista, a dutiful daughter and a ghost. Check ’em out after the jump!
I’m pulling for AnnaSophia Robb. Physically, she’s just about perfect for it: She’s Tris-sized at 5’2″, and pretty enough that we’ll be happy to watch her for a few hours on a big screen—but quirky enough that we’ll buy her as a character who self-identifies as “not beautiful.” And since AnnaSophia is basically exploding right now, with a few high-profile parts (including Carrie Bradshaw herself in “SATC” prequel “The Carrie Diaries”), it’d be nice to give “Divergent” a marketing boost with a newly minted big name. —Brooke Tarnoff, NextMovie
While playing cheerleader-turned-“Vampire Barbie” Caroline Forbes on “The Vampire Diaries,” Candice Accola has had to convey the three very qualities that make Tris “Divergent”: She’s brave, warmhearted and smart as hell. It’ll be hard to make her look like a properly modest Abnegation girl at first, but that’s part of why she broke out of her family’s faction in the first place, right? “TVD” is way campier than “Divergent” should be, but I’m eager to see Candice rise to the task. —Sabrina Rojas Weiss, VH1 Celebrity
Molly Quinn is my Tris. OK, so I’m still a little bitter that she didn’t get the role of Clary Fray in “The Mortal Instruments”—Lily Collins is great though, so that cushions the blow—but I’m so ready for this supporting player on TV’s “Castle” to have a major breakout on the big screen. On the show, Molly brings impressive depth to a small role, giving Alexis an uncanny mix of vulnerability and strength: two big qualities our Tris must possess. Off camera, Molly has a sass and intelligence that’s also so totally Tris.
Looking at casting for these big YA franchises recently, I know actors who live on TV rarely get the big leads, presumably for the scheduling difficulties doing both may create. But Molly’s role on “Castle” is small and hiatuses are easy given that her character is going to college, so boom! Summit, hear me out. —Breanne Heldman, NextMovie
I snuggled into Hollywood Crush’s Casting Couch more than a year ago to reveal my picks for tough-as-nails Tris… but that was before Taissa Farmiga gave us all the goosebumps on FX’s “American Horror Story.” As troubled teen Violet, Taissa delivered the kind of deeply nuanced performance you’d expect from an actor two or three times her age. (Plus, did we mention she’s kind of a dead ringer for author Veronica’s physical description of Tris?) No longer just Vera’s kid sister, “AHS” earned Taissa a legion of fans eager to see her hop the train as Tris. Including me. —Amy Wilkinson, Hollywood Crush
Who do you want to see as Tris in “Divergent”? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!