Wednesday, 6 August 2014

CinemaBlend: 5 Things To Know About DIVERGENT After You've Seen It

In anticipation of the home video release of Divergent, CinemaBlend had the opportunity to speak with director Neil Burger about the making of the film. Among the topics of discussion, finding the right Four, Kate Winslet's pregnancy, the zip-lining scene that almost didn't happen and the challenges the sequel faces.

1. The zip lining scene almost didn't happen.
Burger confirmed that the draft of the script he was working from originally didn't have the zip-lining scene in it. The reasoning behind almost omitting such an iconic scene from the book was that it wasn't really life-altering and it didn't present any kind of obstacle for Tris. "She’d had other victories already," Burger explained. "With the capture the flag scene which comes right before it."

But in the end, Burger fought to get the scene in the movie. "I just felt like it was such a great spectacle and also such a signature event in the book that it had to be in there," he said. It certainly was one of the most fun scenes to watch in the film, and it sounds like that was Burger's primary goal, as he said he worked really hard to make it as wild and fun a ride as possible.

2. Divergent was filmed in Chicago. Insurgent won't be.
Neil Burger is executive producing the sequel, but he's not involved in directing at all, this time around. That wasn't originally the plan. "I actually started prepping it and hired a line producer," he said. "But then it came to a point where it was like I can’t finish this movie properly and be prepping this other big movie, and so I bowed out at the end of last year." He's spoken to Insurgent director Robert Schwentke, but it doesn't sound like he's all that involved in the followup.

For Divergent, Burger wanted to shoot as much of the film in real locations, in Chicago, as possible. A lot of what you're seeing in the background is at least partially actual Chicago, with digital effects added in to create a more dystopian version of the city. The bonus features on the Blu-ray demonstrate some of that really nicely, showing off how they made the ferris wheel look distressed and how they presented the buildings and streets of Chicago in a more futuristic way. Insurgent is being filmed in Atlanta, and from what Burger said, it sounds like the decision was for financial reasons, but it'll create more work in the long run.

"It’s really challenging in the sense that they don’t have that infrastructure there. They don’t have that physical environment to use. They have to create it all and it’s not easy," he said, adding, "Not to mention that they have a reduced prep schedule and a reduced post-production schedule, so they have got their work cut out for them. But I think they're doing a great job and it's all going really well so far. So I think they're pulling it off."

Check out CinemaBlend to read about the last 3:
  • Ansel Elgort tried out for Four.
  • Kate Winslet was pregnant during production.
  • Shailene Woodley was cast immediately. Finding Four took forever.  

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