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.