Summary

  • Divergent
    faced challenges in trying to replicate the success of other YA franchises like
    The Hunger Games
    and
    Twilight
    .
  • The rush to capitalize on the genre’s popularity led to plots and underwhelming writing, as well as numerous changes to the books.
  • Fans of Veronica Roth’s novels are hopeful for a second chance to properly adapt the unique and detailed worldbuilding to the screen.



As the genre begins to enjoy something of a resurgence, Screen Rant‘s Pitch Meeting series is looking back at Divergent. The movie served as an adaptation of Veronica Roth’s novel trilogy of the same name, set in a dystopian future in which a young woman finds herself at the heart of the beginning of a revolution to bring down the faction-based society she lives in. Led by Shailene Woodley, the Divergent movies scored generally negative reviews across its three installments, with the first two being modest commercial successes, only for the third one to have underperformed.


Ahead of the movie’s 10-year anniversary, the latest episode of Screen Rant‘s own Pitch Meeting series has set its sights on Divergent. The video, which can be seen at the top of this article, humorously pokes fun at Lionsgate’s desire to capitalize on their success with the Hunger Games movies at the time of the Roth adaptation’s development to launch a new franchise. The episode goes on to mock the 2014 movie’s various issues, namely its inconsistent plot and underwhelming writing.


Divergent Came Out Far Too Soon


At the time of the movie’s release, the YA genre was in the midst of a massive boom on screen thanks to both the Twilight and Hunger Games franchises, with studios looking for any possible property to match their successes. Divergent, in particular, was one of many that in particular sought to ride the dystopian subgenre wave made popular by the Jennifer Lawrence-led movies, along with the Dylan O’Brien-led Maze Runner trilogy at Fox. It was ultimately this push to capitalize on the genre’s popularity that resulted in Divergent‘s failure.

While Roth’s novels may not have reached the same level of success as Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games books, they were still generally well received across all three novels for their unique and detailed worldbuilding, plenty of action and the love story between Tris and Four. It was a source material that, if given more time to figure out how to properly translate to the screen, could’ve been seen as another shining example of a dystopian YA novel getting its due on the big screen.

Related

Divergent: Allegiant’s Biggest Questions Answered By The Book

The Divergent Series: Allegiant adapted roughly half of Veronica Roth’s book. Here are the unanswered questions the unfinished film franchise left.


Ultimately, though, Lionsgate and the other creatives behind the Divergent movies instead relied on utilizing the formula that made the Hunger Games movies box office smashes, even if they saw dwindling reviews with subsequent sequels. This was made all the more evident as critics ripped apart all three movies, and the final installment’s box office numbers led to the cancellation of a final movie and TV show. As the Hunger Games has found new life with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, fans of Roth’s novels are sure to hope Divergent will get a second chance.

Source: Pitch Meeting

Divergent

Based on the young adult “The Divergent Series” novels, Divergent is the first film in the franchise that follows a girl named Beatrice Prior, who lives on the fringes of society in a dystopian world. Set to join one of the five factions humans are separated into based on their virtues, Beatrice learns that she is considered a “Divergent,” an independent thinker that she fits into none of the factions. Forced to conceal the truth, Beatrice joins the thrill-seeking Dauntless faction in secret, setting her on a path that will change the world.

Director
Neil Burger

Release Date
March 14, 2014

Studio(s)
Lionsgate

Distributor(s)
Lionsgate

Writers
Vanessa Taylor , Evan Daugherty

Runtime
2h 19m

Budget
88 million



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