Shortly after her medical drama Red Band Society got picked up to series by Fox, more good news emerged today for Oscar winner Octavia Spencer. The actress, who won an Oscar for her role in The Help, has just joined the cast of Summit’s Divergent sequel, Insurgent.
Spencer will play Johanna, the leader of the Amity faction in the film’s dystopian version of Chicago. In the Divergent series, based on the trilogy by Veronica Roth, people are divided into factions based on their personality traits. Those in Amity are peaceful, Candor’s members are honest, those in Dauntless exhibit extraordinary courage, Erudite members are highly intelligent, and those in Abnegation are selfless.
In Roth’s Insurgent, Johanna was described as having a lisp and a long scar across her face, but it’s unknown if those details will be incorporated into the film adaptation. It’s a relatively minor supporting role for Spencer, but the actress’s tremendous talents certainly make me excited about her involvement.
Insurgent continues the journey of Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) as she and her boyfriend Four (Theo James) defy the devious Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet). The official synopsis for the book reads as follows:
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
Divergent director Neil Burger will not be returning for the sequel, which Summit has dated for next year. Instead, Robert Schwentke (R.I.P.D.) has been tapped to helm. The writers have also changed; replacing Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor is Akiva Goldsman (Winter’s Tale), who will be rewriting a script originally by Jane Got a Gun scribe Brian Duffield.
Insurgent opens March 20th, 2015.