divergent

Lionsgate has signed Robert Schwentke to direct “Insurgent,” its sequel to “Divergent.”

“Insurgent” is based on the second novel in Veronica Roth’s dystopian trilogy, set in Chicago. Production will begin in May with a release date 10 months later through the Summit label.

Schwentke directed 2010’s “Red” for Summit. Other credits for the German native are “Tattoo,”  “Flightplan,” “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and “R.I.P.D.” — a significant money-loser for Universal last summer.

“Divergent,” starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James, will open March 21 amid high expectations that Summit and Lionsgate can duplicate the massive success of the “Twilight” franchise and the first two “Hunger Games” films.

“Divergent” director Neil Burger opted late last year not to helm “Insurgent,” which is set to open in March 20, 2015.

Woodley portrays a teen living in a futuristic American society in which people are divided into five groups based on specific values once they turn 16.

“Divergent” also stars  Jai Courtney, Miles Teller, Ashley Judd, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer and Kate Winslet. Set in a dystopian Chicago, the story centers on a society divided into five factions, each dedicated to a particular virtue — Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity and Erudite — with all 16-year-olds required on a particular day to select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives.

The life of the female protagonist Beatrice Prior (Woodley) changes dramatically when she switches factions.

Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher are producing both films via their Red Wagon banner along with Pouya Shahbazian. For “Insurgent,” Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman will  exec produce through their Mandeville Films shingle.

Lionsgate’s Erik Feig and Gillian Bohrer are overseeing for the studio.

The third “Divergent” film, “Allegiant,” will open in March 18, 2016. The studio has yet to decide if it will split the final movie into two parts as it is doing with “The Hunger Games.”

Akiva Goldsman recently came on board to work on the script for “Insurgent.” Brian Duffield wrote the first draft.

The “Divergent” franchise — released via its Summit brand — is viewed as a key to Lionsgate’s strategy to lead in the young-adult genre. Summit’s five “Twilight” films have topped $3.3 billion in worldwide grosses and Lionsgate’s first two “Hunger Games” have pulled in over $1.4 billion.

“Divergent” was published in 2011, followed by “Insurgent” in 2012 and “Allegiant” in October.

 Schwentke is represented by CAA, Jennifer Killoran and Karl Austen.

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