Robert Schwentke picked to helm the second installment in the Divergent series.
Though Divergent still has a month to go before hitting theatres, Summit gave the greenlight for the sequel, Insurgent, ages ago. Hoping to have another Harry Potter/Twilight/Hunger Games type of mega-series on hand, the studio is aiming for a March, 2015 release date. Due to the production schedule, it was clear early on that Divergent director, Neil Burger, would not be able to return for the second installment. Though Summit invited the director back to helm the sequel, Burger felt uncomfortable with the production schedule and decided to see Divergent through post-production. Stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James expressed their disappointment over Burger’s inability to continue on with the trilogy, citing that it was his vision which made this film happen in the first place.
Luckily for fans, Schwentke has experience with both romance/drama and the action genre: both The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009) and Red (2010) came out under his direction. Directorial changes between movies are fairly common these days, and sequels are, occasionally received better than the previous film. Examples include Chris Weitz who took over Catherine Hardwicke’s position for The Twilight Saga: New Moon and, more recently, Francis Lawrence who took over when Gary Ross felt uncomfortable abandoning The Hunger Games in post-production for Catching Fire.
Meanwhile, Akiva Goldsman is working on the Insurgent script, previously penned by Brian Duffield. Filming will begin this May, with Woodley and James returning to reprise their roles as Tris Prior and Four.