BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION: DIVERGENT TRILOGY
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Veronica Roth was 22 when her debut novel Divergent was published. It was just few months before her graduation from Northwestern University with a degree of creative writing, when she received a contract proposal from HarperCollins. What a nice natural advertisement for the Illinois’s educational facility. In the next years Veronica became a star. Huge royalties, book signings with thousands of fans and two more books in the series are just some of the new entries for the writer from New York City.
The second part of the novel Insurgent was released in 2012, while the third one Allegiant in 2013. The sales were growing after each new book. Two years ago the publisher put on a table some respecting numbers. Just for 2013 all the novels from Divergent series sold 6.7 copies for a year. Three million of them were hardcover.
In the first few weeks of 2014 USA Today bestselling list looked very strange. Divergent was on the first place, Insurgent on second and Allegiant on third. In the history of publishing only six other authors positioned three of their books on the Top 3 of the prestigious classification, according to publicist Casey McIntyre. On that day Roth was just 25-year-old and with more than 10 million copies sold from her series.
The critics and readers praised the futuristic fiction set in post-apocalyptic version of Chicago. The first and second parts of the book are carrying respecting average 4.5 out of 5 stars from Amazon reviews. Divergent gathered almost 20 000 reviews. The setback of valuation for the third part Allegiant is kind of surprising with averaging just 3.4 Amazon rating. Veronica Roth won Goodreads 2011 Choice Award, 2012 Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction and Best Goodreads Author in 2012.
One month before the official release of Divergent, in March 2011, Summit Entertainment brought the rights for the movie adaptation. The company once again showed their sense of box office breaker. Their first big jackpot was Twilight saga. Summit Entertainment may be proud not only in chasing young-adult hits, but also some serious movies as The Hurt Locker, which Oscar.
Neil Burger was selected as director of Divergent. He impressed The Illusionist. The $17-milion budget movie topped a box office of almost $88 million. His next project, Limitless with Bradley Cooper and Robert de Niro, was even more successful (27 mil. budged vs. $161 mil. box office).
Evan Daugherty (Snow White and the Huntsman) and Vanessa Taylor (Hope Springs and Game of Thrones) took the responsibility of adapting the screenplay. Theo James and Shailene Woodley were cast to play the main characters Four and Tris.
The initial budget of the movie was $40 million. The producers decided to gamble with bigger one. The final expenses reached $85 million, but they were well deserved to the last dime. The feeling was so strong that Summit Entertainment decided to announce that the sequel will be released before the premiere of the first part.
Divergent’s official premiere was on March 21 2014. The fans of the book were very thrilled. In the first day of advance ticket sales, the production sold half of its total tickets. The total gross of the movie was $288 million, which is three and a half time more than the budget.
The critics put out the red pen. Rotten Tomatoes scored the movie with not so impressive 5.4/10, while Metacritic gave a score 48 out of 100. The mass audience was far more generous with 6.8/10 rating in IMDB from 230 k plus votes.
The sequel Insurgent will be released in a few days time – on March 20. The filming crew was totally different than the first part with German Robert Schwentke (Tattoo and Fightplan) as director, and triple team of screenwriters Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman and Mark Bomback. Alwin H. Küchler was replaced as a cinematographer by German Florian Ballhaus.
The producers used an old trick to win more money. They decided to split the last part of the film Allegiant on two parts, so with three books we will have four movies. Will that be a good move looking at not so nice ratings of the third and final part of the book? Well, we will see in 2016 and 2017, when the next movies will be released.