Divergent (2014) Poster



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The sound that Peter (Miles Teller) makes when Tris (Shailene Woodley) punches him in the throat is genuine. Woodley didn't want to hurt Teller, so she was being timid. As filming continued, Teller and Woodley got more aggressive and during one take, Woodley actually hit him in the throat, which Teller wasn't expecting. This is the take that is in the movie.
Theo James did all of his own fight stunts with no stunt double.
Kate Winslet was five months pregnant during filming. Despite the fact that she was only on set for four weeks, it reached the point where her pregnancy was evident. She was shot above the waist, or was directed to carry folders, files and iPads.
Miles Teller originally auditioned for the role of Four, but was told that he wasn't going to be getting the role. Months later, the producers watched The Spectacular Now (2013), and were so impressed that they called Teller and offered him the role of Eric, who is supposed to be at odds and intimidating towards the character Four. Teller turned it down because he felt that he wouldn't be able to pull off being intimidating towards Theo James. He was then offered the role of Peter, which he accepted after his friend and former co-star Shailene Woodley sent him a text asking him to accept the role so they could work together again.
Shailene Woodley was the only actress considered for the part of Tris. No other actresses auditioned for the part.
Tris is aged 16 and is played by Shailene Woodley who is 23. Four is 18 in the book, but played by Theo James who is 28
Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller had trouble filming their fight scene due to their close friendship. Woodley, in particular had difficulties and at one point referred to Teller as "Sutter" which is his character's name in The Spectacular Now (2013) in which the two played a couple. Teller had to take Woodley aside and have a discussion in order to get her to be aggressive towards him.
Initially, the budget of the film was $40 million but Lionsgate later increased it to $80 million due to the success of The Hunger Games (2012).
There was a love scene filmed between Tris and Four, but it had to be cut due to the film's PG-13 rating.
At first Shailene Woodley declined the role of Tris, but after talking to Jennifer Lawrence about it she changed her mind.
When zip lining after capture-the-flag, the extra who opens the door and is on the roof first is Veronica Roth, the author of the Divergent series.
The whole cast went through boot camp training for two months before filming started.
As inspiration for Four's full-back tattoo, production designer Andy Nicholson looked to 1920s abstract Russian constructivist art. The stark lines may look conventional on paper, but on Theo James' body they clutch and curve; they're meant to be touched. "It was about following the lines that your hand might follow if you're feeling someone's back," explains Nicholson. To apply the temporary tattoos, makeup head Brad Wilder cut the transfer paper into about 40 pieces, creating a "giant jigsaw puzzle." It then took three people more than three hours to assemble the pattern on James' back. To pass the time, the actor listened to jazz music.
In an interview, Shailene Woodley asked Elgort whether he preferred playing her brother or playing her boyfriend, to which he replied, "Boyfriend definitely."
The elevated train maps used on the train cars were from 1913.
Shailene Woodley received several days of firearms training by Discreet Protection Security Group (DPS group) in order to prepare for her role in Divergent. The firearms instructors from DPS group are real life LAPD Officers Charles Wunder and Jamie McBride. They are the same Officers that the lead characters in the movie End of Watch (2012) were loosely based on. They were partners in Newton Division in the mid to late 90's.
In The Fault in Our Stars (2014), Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort play boyfriend and girlfriend, while in Divergent, they play siblings.
Although the majority of the weapons used in the movie are mock ups using CGI muzzle flashes, the futuristic looking revolver seen during Four's/Tris' hallucination is a real firearm. It is a Chiappa 'Rhino' which is available in several calibers, finishes and barrel lengths.
In the beginning when the factions were introduced, each sign for each faction appears: the Erudite eye looking up from the microscope, the Amity tree in the middle of the field, the Candor scales during a court hearing, the Dauntless flames on the side of the building, and Abnegation joined hands while helping the factionless.
Pop star Ellie Goulding provided the "inner voice" of Tris in the film's soundtrack. You can hear her voice, as Theo James said once in an interview, "peppered" in the background of key scenes, mixed with the film's score.
Jeremy Irvine was the first choice for the role of Tobias 'Four' Eaton but he turned it down because he doesn't want to be seen as a teen idol.
Filmmakers used the cover name "Catbird" while filming public scenes for the film.
The film was shot on location in Chicago, the setting in the book, and Burger wanted to use as much of the city as possible. He decided to shoot the film like street photography but where the streets are 150 years in the future.
In the book, Christina is the first to take possession of the flag saying to Tris "You're already the hero of the day." In the movie, Tris grabs the flag first but Christina quickly joins her in holding it, and then Christina carries the flag as they walk back.
Kate Winslet has said she accepted the role of Jeannine because she wanted to do something drastically different from her usual parts, and also because she wanted to do a film that her children could watch. According to her, they became quite popular at school when word got out that their mother was Jeannine.
Early on, Zoë Kravitz bought tickets for the cast to go to an Erykah Badu concert in Chicago, which is where they all began bonding.
The fence around Chicago is modeled after the Duga-3 antenna array. A Soviet era over-the-horizon radar transmitter located in Ukraine, within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The transmissions from the antenna caused interference with commercial and amateur radio. NATO codenamed Steel Yard, also known as the Russian Woodpecker due to the 10hz repetitive signal.
Shailene Woodley and Theo James became close friends during the film's promo.
While The Hunger Games series is in very similar vein, it also starred Lenny Kravitz who is Zoë Kravitz's father.
The producers were aware of the story's surface-level similarities to The Hunger Games, but felt that the urban world of Divergent would contrast with the rural feel of Hunger Games and help differentiate the two.
Some of the violence from the book was toned down in order to ensure a PG-13 rating. There's less visual violence (ie. blood spatter) and more "emotional violence."
Summit/Lionsgate sat down with some of the actors and prepared them for the experiences ahead regarding the eager fanbase.
Aaron Eckhart was originally cast as Andrew Prior, but dropped out before filming began. Tony Goldwyn was later cast.
As noted elsewhere, Miles Teller was initially reluctant to sign onto the film, and was convinced by Shailene Woodley. Apparently, Woodley convinced him to agree by saying he would get to punch her in the face on-screen.
One of the main things that attracted Woodley to the project was the relationship between Tris and Four: "It's very different than the Bella/Edward relationship; they're completely on the opposite sides of the spectrum."
Kate Winslet came onto production a little later than most of the other cast members. As a result, she deliberately didn't act too friendly towards them - hoping it would help with the tension whenever Jeannine was on screen. After a few days, she started being nicer.
In the original script, Molly had no lines and was mainly a fighting role.
Both Maggie Q (Tori) and Jai Courtney (Eric) acted in one of the Die Hard movies. Q played the villain Mai Linh in Live Free or Die Hard (2007), and Courtney played Jack McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard (2013).
The film rights were bought after the success of the Twilight films, but it wasn't put into production until after The Hunger Games had been a success. In order to distinguish Divergent from The Hunger Games, director Neil Burger emphasized the urban setting (in contrast to the rural setting of the arena in The Hunger Games) - and used lots of sharp, neon colors.
In the book, Christina is the second jumper. In the movie it is a male Dauntless born.
After the first Dauntless test, the initiates get their rankings on the board behind Eric. "Tris", however, is misspelt, as "Triss".
This is the first film where Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort star together. The first could have been Carrie (2013) if Woodley hadn't turned down the part of Carrie White. Elgort played the Tommy Ross, the potential love interest, in the film. A year later, they were both cast in The Fault in Our Stars (2014).
The producers were looking for a director who could juggle a difficult adaptation, loved character, and wouldn't be overwhelmed by bringing an epic scale to the film visually. After seeing presentations from many different filmmakers, they realized Neil Burger was the best choice.
Divergent boundaries are tectonic plates that move away. That is where the movie and book title come from
Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller had trouble with their fight scenes together due to their close friendship
Ansel Elgort says to Shailene Woodley 'what if she had been blind or an amputee' when talking about helping a woman with her parcels. In Fault in Our Stars, Elgort is an amputee and he and Woodley have a blind friend.
In the capture the flag scene, Peter and Eric are shot in the same place with neuro stim darts: leg and chest
In German translation the factions are called Candor, Amite (Amity), Ken (Erudite), Altruan (Abnegation) and Ferox (Dauntless).
A year after the film's release, Jai Courtney starred as Kyle Reese in Terminator Genisys (2015) which is a reboot of The Terminator (1984). Kate Winslet had starred in Titanic (1997) as Rose De Witt Bukater. Titanic (1997) was written and directed by James Cameron who wrote and directed The Terminator (1984) and it's sequel Terminator 2 (1991).
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Veronica Roth: The author of Divergent makes a cameo as one of the Dauntless faction members during the zip lining scene.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The scene from the book in which Edward is stabbed with a butter knife in the eye by Peter was filmed, but later cut due to it being determined as too violent for a PG-13 film. It would've received an R-rating with the scene included.
An acrostic of the first letters of the faction names, Factionless/Abnegation/Candor/Amity/Dauntless/Erudite, spells FACADE. Insisting that people fall into just 6 rigid categories certainly is a facade that misled everyone.
In the movie, Tris fights and beats the initiate Molly who guards the flag. This fight is not in the book, however there is a fight between the two in the training center where Tris decisively beats the stronger Molly thereby improving her rank.
The initiate named Edward is present throughout stage 1 of the training (helps pull Christina up from the chasm's edge, first picked by Eric for Capture The Flag, spoken line "You're the only one who's ever stood up to him", ranked #1 and celebrates when stage 1 rankings are announced etc.) However, he is nowhere to be seen after the first stage of training. In the book, but not shown in the movie, Edward was eliminated by the weaker Peter by stabbing him in the eye with a table knife while sleeping. Al also feels threatened by Tris and he tries to eliminate her by throwing her into the Chasm, which is in the movie.
In the book, a character named Uriah makes many appearances as a friend and ally to Tris. He is a Dauntless born initiate who has an older brother named Zeke who was an initiate in Four's year but neither of them makes an appearance in the movie. However, in the scene after the 'Capture the Flag' sequence a Dauntless boy asks Tris to join them for a tradition (the zip line from the Hancock Building). That character, although named Ezra(a movie specific character), takes the place of Uriah who invited Tris to join in the book. Oddly enough, Ezra matches the description given in the book of Uriah, who will make his first appearance in the second movie of the Dauntless Series: Insurgent (2015), portrayed by Keiynan Lonsdale.
In the book, Tris gets three tattoos: the birds on her collar bone, the symbol for Abnigation (her born faction) on her right shoulder, and the symbol for Dauntless (her newly-chosen faction) on her left shoulder. In the movie we only see her get the birds but if you look closely, the other two are also visible. For instance, you can see the Abnigation symbol when Tris and Four are watching the sunset after entering Four's fearscape.
in the film, when Tris is jumped by three hooded figures (who then try to throw her into the chasm), she only pulls the hood off one, revealing that it is Al. In the book, she also discovers that the others are Peter and another initiate named Drew. But if you watch the fight scene closely, you can actually see that Miles Teller (Peter) is one of the other two.
Body Count 28.
In the book "Free Four", Four is given a tattoo using a needle, but in the movie Tori only uses something more like an ink transfer to put the three birds on Tris.
In the book, after Tris gets shot in the shoulder, she has to go through a long and painful recovery the rest of the book and part of the second one. In the movie, her getting shot isn't a big deals and she barely suffers.
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