Divergent is set to start filming this April in Chicago and Summit Entertainment has finally found its male lead in Theo James. The actor has been cast as Four, opposite Shailene Woodley (Beatrice Prior/Tris), the female protagonist in the story.
There has been a lot of speculation about who would play the male lead in this film. Everyone from Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four) to Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games) were rumored to have screen tested for the role, but the studio clearly took their time finding the right actor for the part.
Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger, co-chairmen of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, released a joint statement saying that:
“Theo is not only an incredibly talented actor, he is also who we envisioned as Four when reading Veronica’s novel which has taken the world by storm. As we continue to develop the film, the studio remains committed to providing fans with a movie adaptation that stays as true to the book as possible and we are confident that we have done so with our selection of Shailene and Theo in the leading roles.”
Divergent is based on the bestselling YA novel by Veronica Roth and is about a dystopian society that is divided into five factions living interdependently in what was once the thriving metropolis of Chicago. Roth weighed in on the casting news via her Tumblr account this afternoon with the following:
Recently I saw Theo James’ screen test with Shailene Woodley, and I was sure within seconds: this was ‘Four,’ no question. Theo is able to capture ‘Four’s’ authority and strength, as well as his depth and sensitivity. He is a perfect match for Shailene’s incredibly strong presence as Tris. I’m thrilled!
James is not the only new addition to the Divergent cast this week though. Maggie Q (Nikita) will playing Tori, one of the few adult characters that Tris (Woodley) interacts with once she decides on her faction. Ansel Elgort has been added too as Caleb, Tris’s slightly older brother. And finally, Zoe Kravitz has landed the role of Christina, a Candor-transfer who befriends Tris during initiation.
However, possibly the most exciting casting news besides now having a Four, is that character of Eric – one of the Dauntless leaders – has also been officially cast. Eric will be played by A Good Day To Die Hard actor Jai Courtney.
Summit is also in talks with some big name actors for other major roles that still need to be cast. According to Deadline, the studio is in the process of closing deals with Kate Winslet, Aaron Eckhart, Ray Stevenson (Thor: The Dark World) and Miles Teller (21 & Over). There’s no official word on which character each actor is being eyed for, but they would all be great additions to the project.
Divergent is being directed by Neil Burger (Limitless) and is scheduled to be released in spring 2014.
What do you think of the latest additions to the Divergent cast? Is there anyone else you’d like to see before casting is finalized?