Based off Veronica Roth’s young-adult science fiction book series, Insurgent continues the story of Divergent, following clandestine lovers Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) as tensions between the factions escalate in dystopian Chicago. Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer (The Help), also a recent cast addition, will play Johanna, the leader of the Amity (a.k.a. the peaceful) faction. The film, which began shooting in Atlanta a few days ago, will also star Miles Tellar (The Spectacular Now) and Oscar-winner Kate Winslet (The Reader).
Though Watts earned her second Oscar nomination for 2012’s The Impossible, she also starred in three critical and financial flops last year: Adore, Movie 43, and Diana, the latter two earning her Razzie nominations for Worst Actress. Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer expects Insurgent to rake in between 350 and 400 million dollars worldwide, so perhaps the Divergent will boost Watts’s star power. Even if it doesn’t, Watts has preoccupied herself with relatively smaller and independent films anyways; she stars in Alejandro Gonzales Innaritu’s Birdman, Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young, and Theodore Melfy’s St. Vincent, all of which are in post-production. She will transition to Gus Van Sant’s Sea of Trees after Insurgent finishes filming and later to Errol Morris’s Holland, Michigan.
Robert Schwentke (Red) replaced Divergent director Neil Burger for Insurgent because of the scheduling conflict of post-production and pre-production for the two films. Lucy Fisher (Divergent, The Great Gatsby), Pouya Shahbazian (Divergent), and Oscar-winner Douglas Wick (Gladiator) are producing the film based on the adapted script by Brian Duffeld (soon-to-be-released Jane Got a Gun) and Oscar-winner Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind).
Insurgent will come out May 20 next year and the two Allegiant films will arrive on March 18, 2016, and March 24, 2017.