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First Footage From YA Adaptation ‘Divergent’ Shown to Fans

Eric Pfeiffer
Movie Talk
July 19, 2013
'Divergent' stars Theo James and Shailene Woodley
'Divergent' stars Theo James and Shailene Woodley

The first footage from the upcoming film "Divergent" premiered at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday before thousands of fans of the young adult series of novels from author Veronica Roth, even though the movie just finished shooting a few days ago.

The novel, which spent more than 20 months on the New York Times bestseller list, has sold more than three million copies, so anticipation for the big-screen adaptation was running high at Comic-Con's cavernous Hall H. The story revolves around the character Tris, played by Shailene Woodley, who leaves her family behind to join a tribe who adventure across a dystopian Chicago set about 100 years in the future.

Fans got a sneak peek at the film, directed by Neil Burger ("Limitless"), where stars Woodley and Zoe Kravitz are seen riding a train in a futuristic Chicago. The pair leap from the train to the top of a broken down seven story building in order to join other aspiring members of the Dauntless, a faction of individuals in the city known for their bravery. "There are green screen ways to to that," Burger said, "but they really climbed atop a train and jumped from it."

The group is then challenged to dive from the rooftop into a cavernous opening more than 100 feet below. Woodley's character Tris volunteers to go first, landing in a net below.

"What, did you get pushed?" asks Four, a fellow member of the Dauntless played by Theo James.

The rest of the footage then showcased a training montage in which Tris stands against a wall while Four throws a series of knives at her head.

"I think Tris is a very normal girl," Woodley says of her character. "I never saw her as an action star or a super hero. She's kind of a normal girl who has to find herself through these extraordinary situations."

After a series of scenes showing Tris climbing a giant Ferris Wheel, boxing, and throwing knives at a target, Four says, "Maybe you do belong here."

"Divergent" is scheduled to hit theaters on March 21, 2014.