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‘Golden Boy’ Theo James Lands Male Lead in ‘Divergent’

Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart and Ray Stevenson also circling roles

By Justin Kroll

After a lengthy search, “Golden Boy” thesp Theo James has landed the male lead opposite Shailene Woodley in Summit/Lionsgate’s “Divergent.”

Kate Winslet (Daily Variety, Jan.24), Miles Teller, Ray Stevenson and Aaron Eckhart are in talks for supporting roles. Jai Courtney, Zoe Kravitz, Ansel Elgort and Maggie Q are also on board.

Pic is based on the first in a trilogy of novels by Veronica Roth, set in a post-apocalytic Chicago divided into five factions. Featuring “Hunger Games”-like teen-on-teen violence, it follows 16-year-old Beatrice Prior (Woodley) whose life changes dramatically when she switches factions. James will play Four, Beatrice’s intense yet charismatic instructor.

Neil Burger will helm, with Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher producing via their Red Wagon. Vanessa Taylor is rewriting the script that Evan Daugherty penned and Burger helped develop.

Pic is set to bow March 21, 2014.

“Theo is not only an incredibly talented actor, he is also who we envisioned as Four when reading Veronica’s novel, which has taken the world by storm,” Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger, co-chairmen of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group said in a joint statement.

“As we continue to develop the film, the studio remains committed to providing fans with a movie adaptation that stays as true to the book as possible and we are confident that we have done so with our selection of Shailene and Theo in the leading roles.”

The WME repped James had to work out his schedule with “Golden Boy,” which is airing on CBS, before he could commit to the part.

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