Like the comic book gold rush of a few years ago, when it seems that every two-bit producer was running around Hollywood snatching up movie rights to every comic book in existence and proudly sending out press releases proclaiming their latest (and as it turns out, mostly insubstantial) acquisitions, the gold rush is now on to find the “next Harry Potter” or the “next Twilight”. Basically, the next young adult novel that can be spun off into a movie franchise. In the case of Harry Potter and Twilight, at least the producers waited for those books to become massive hits and develop fanbases first. Nowadays, producers aren’t even waiting that long, trying to sell YA novels like “I am Number Four” as franchises before the books even come out.
And so I give you … “Divergent” from Veronica Roth, who is 22-years old, a fact that is apparently a major selling point because, well, who even mentions an author’s age at all?
Summit, the same company behind “Twilight”, is seeing those “Twilight” bucks slowly but surely flying out the window now that the franchise is approaching its final two movies, and is looking to replicate the success with “Divergent”. To that end, the studio has brought in screenwriter Evan Daugherty to adapt the book, already a bestseller a month after its release (the kids love their YA novels), for them.
In “Divergent”, one of those spunky 16-year-old girls who can only exist in YA novels or CW TV shows “leaves her family for a rival faction, where she faces a brutal initiation, even as she keeps a secret that could lead to her death. But when unrest grows between the factions, she must decide whether to reveal her true self in order to save the ones she loves.” All that, and probably a handsome teenage hunk or two will appear in her life, one suspects. The book, of course, is the first of a trilogy. (What isn’t nowadays?)
Daugherty previously adapted “Snow White and the Huntsman” for Universal.