Comic-Con 2013 : Divergent Preview, Panel and Party

Brooke checks out footage from the first film in Veronica Roth’s literary series

I love my life right now.

I’ve just returned from the “Divergent” party, where I mixed it up with some of the gang from the movie (!), and pinched myself quite a few times throughout. I might do it again… now.

Nope, seems I am alive. This is happening to me. Hard work does pay off.

Speaking of “Divergent”, I attended the panel and footage presentation for it today, as did many of the other Moviehole members who all agree it looks like fun.

Summit are the kings and queens of the cinematic young people’s franchise right now, and “Divergent” is a perfect addition to their impressive, teen-skewed roster of hits.

Fans young and, well, young, flocked to Hall H to preview footage from the film, based on the literary series by Veronica Roth.

Roth, in attendance, explained the world of ‘Divergent’ for the unversed, while the film’s director Neil Burger (“The Illusionist”) spoke further about the separate fractions that exist in the film’s future world.

“There is an aptitude test”, he begins. “It’s a psychological dream state and they put various challenges to you and they determine what faction you are best suited for. Then there is a ceremony where you come on stage and you slit your palm that represent the factions, and doing so, you pay your sacred allegiance to that faction. They have determined that that’s the way society can work. That’s what keeps society in balance.”

The film, which had just finished it’s shoot that Tuesday (I could tell you what else I’ve seen of that completed movie… but then I’d have to kill you), unveiled a sizzle reel for the highly-excited audience.

The first scene we see is one involving the film’s ‘brave’ heroine Tris (Shailene Woodley) and buddy Christina (Zoe Kravitz), as they participate – along with others – in the selection process.

The test? jumping from an elevated train onto the rooftops below! Then, from the building, they have to jump into a dark hole in the street! It’s a well-choreographed, fun scene!

Tris, who has a crack at it first, lands safely. She emerges from a net below, and it’s then that we see Four (Theo James), who she’s immediately mesmerized by. This is the moment that he lets her know that should she want to change her name (from Beatrice to whatever she chooses – in this case, Tris) this is the time to do it.

We also get to see a couple of other quick bits including Kate Winslet’s evil Jeanine Matthews looking on disapprovingly as Tris gets a tattoo, some battle and training scenes, and a moment where a needle is headed for Tris’s neck.

The first thing that grabs you about the footage is not only how well cast “Divergent” is, but what good jobs the actors do in their respective roles – particularly Woodley and James, who seem to have good chemistry. Also, it looks and feels much more like “Hunger Games” than “Twilight” – which many will likely be glad to hear.

The panel that padded the footage, attended by near everyone involved in the film, encompassed a brief Q&A; amongst the questions answered : that the third book will be told from the perspective of both Tris and Four.

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