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FIRST LOOK: Can Shailene Woodley Turn 'Divergent' Into Her Own 'Hunger Games' Blockbuster Franchise?

And with this post, Popculturology becomes a Shailene Woodley fan site. Wasn't quite my original plan for the site, but I guess we'll just roll with it. It could be worse. We could be a Justin Bieber fan site. Anyways, on top of the news that Woodley's scenes had been cut from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the release of the trailer for The Spectacular Now, Entertainment Weekly revealed that Divergent, another one of the actress' upcoming films, is the cover story for this week's issue.
Looking for the next YA movie sensation? This week, EW offers an exclusive first look at the making of Divergent, based on Veronica Roth’s dystopian YA best-seller. The movie’s set in a futuristic Chicago, and stars one of Hollywood’s fastest-rising young actresses, Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), who’s also snagged the Mary Jane role in the Amazing Spider-Man franchise and the lead in the adaptation of another beloved bestseller, The Fault in Our Stars. As one of her costars, Jai Courtney, puts it, “She’s going to be such a big f - - -ing star.”
"Who's also snagged the Mary Jane role in the Amazing Spider-Man franchise"? Yikes. I've seen the actual issue of EW itself, and that line is in the story about Divergent too. Unfortunate timing on that one. I'm sure Woodley is going to be just fine though, as Divergent appears to be her Hunger Games. There's a remarkable bit of symmetry forming between Woodley and Jennifer Lawrence's careers. Like Winter's Bone for Lawrence, it looks like The Spectacular Now is going to be Woodley's small-budget breakout role. Lawrence spun that into roles in comic book movies like X-Men: First Class and heroic franchises like The Hunger Games. Woodley (almost) had the comic book role with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Divergent could wind up being her own Hunger Games.

Not familiar with Divergent? Head past the jump to get the scoop on the movie and to check out a bunch of photos from Entertainment Weekly's piece on the flick.

OK, so what's the story on Divergent? The Hunger Games 2.0? EW fills us in:
In the future world of Divergent, society is divided into five factions devoted to particular virtues. But Woodley’s character, Beatrice, is classified as “divergent.” That means she’s suited for more than one faction and, as we later learn, headed for trouble. Beatrice finds an ally — and a love interest — in an instructor named Four, played by Theo James. (You may remember him dying in Lady Mary’s bed in season one of Downton Abbey). On the set, Woodley seemed delighted to find that James also took the possibility of superstardom with a grain of salt. “We’re not into the industry and have separate lives outside of it,” she told EW. “That’s refreshing. I don’t know what I would do if Four was played by someone who cared what he looked like or spent more time in front of the mirror than I do.”
Divergent is directed by Neil Burger, the man who helmed the surprisingly great Limitless in 2011. Limitless was the role that really turned Bradley Cooper into a box office star — can Burger pull off that trick with Woodley too?

Divergent hits theaters on March 21, 2014, and stars Woodley, Theo James, Ray Stevenson, Kate Winslet, Zoe Kravitz, Maggie Q, Ashley Judd and Miles Teller.

FIRST LOOK: Can Shailene Woodley Turn 'Divergent' Into Her Own 'Hunger Games' Blockbuster Franchise? Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 6/20/2013 Rating: 5

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