Divergent

Lionsgate is feeling so optimistic about Divergent becoming the next big thing that they’re hitting the ground running with the sequel, Insurgent. Akiva Goldsman is working on the script as we speak, and now the production company confirms that shooting is scheduled to begin this spring.

But before we get there, they still have to open the first movie. The studio has just released a new full-length trailer for the original Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley as a brave young heroine in dystopian Chicago. Watch it after the jump.

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Film Fall Preview

On Monday morning, we reported Philip Seymour Hoffman had shot enough of his The Hunger Games: Mockingjay role before his passing that the release dates for the two-parter have not shifted. But he still had seven days of filming left on Part 2 and, unsurprisingly, that’s leading to some complications.

According to insiders at the studio, the late Hoffman still had one major scene left to shoot when he died. The filmmakers are now scrambling to work around his absence, possibly by digitally inserting him into some scenes. More details after the jump.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

In the Harry Potter books and films, there’s never much question that Hermione will end up with Ron instead of Harry. Although she and Harry share a warm friendship, they never seem to see each other in a romantic way, whereas she and Ron spend years bickering and flirting and getting jealous before finally ending up together in the last volume.

But while Hermione may not have had any doubts about her feelings for Ron, author J.K. Rowling admits she did. In an interview with Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the movies, Rowling confessed that she regretted having Hermione end up with Ron and that she should have put her with Harry instead. Read her comments after the jump.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games Catching Fire

When Philip Seymour Hoffman tragically and suddenly passed away this weekend, he left behind a couple of not-quite-finished projects. One is the two-parter The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, in which he reprises the role of Plutarch Heavensbee from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; another is Showtime’s Happyish, which was set to star Hoffman as an ad exec trying to change his life.

While the former shouldn’t be delayed too much by his passing, the latter seems to be in jeopardy. Get updates on both after the jump.

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The Fault in Our Stars poster header

Last year, screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber brought us The Spectacular Now, a smart, tender YA adaptation about first love. This year, they’re mining similar territory with The Fault in Our Stars, based on John Green‘s bestselling novel. They even have Shailene Woodley starring once again.

This time, she plays Hazel Grace Lancaster, who falls for fellow cancer patient Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) after meeting him in a support group for sick teens. Josh Boone directs, with Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, and Mike Birbiglia in supporting roles. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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Insurgent

Divergent won’t hit theaters for another couple of months, but with the sequel due out just a little over a year from now, Summit has no time to waste. The studio is busily getting the pieces together for Insurgent, and has just hired Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) to work on the script. Brian Duffield (Jane Got a Gun) worked on an earlier draft.

The principal actors from the first film, including Shailene Woodley, are expected to return for the second. However, the film has no director at the moment, as Divergent helmer Neil Burger has opted not to return. More details on Insurgent after the jump.

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The Giver - Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaites (header)

It’d be easy to assume that Philip Noyce‘s The Giver is just another Hunger Games knock-off, given that it’s yet another YA adaptation set in a dystopian universe. But in truth, it’s a film that Jeff Bridges has been working on for almost twenty years — way back before Katniss Everdeen was even a twinkle in Suzanne Collins’ eye. Heck, before J.K. Rowling introduced the world to Harry Potter.

Based on the novel by Lois Lowry, The Giver unfolds in a seemingly utopian society which has not just eliminated, but completely forgotten concepts like war and poverty. When protagonist Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) comes of age, however, he learns that this pain-free existence comes at a cost. He is chosen to bear the burden of remembering the past so that others won’t have to, and begins to receive memories from the Giver (Bridges).

The first images from the film have just been released, and you can check them out after the jump.

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Fox Will Develop James Frey’s YA Novel ‘Endgame’

20th-Century-Fox-2009-twentieth-century-fox

Briefly: James Frey created the story that spawned the novel and film I Am Number Four, and while that was a non-starter as a franchise, he’s got another YA property in the pipeline. Frey is writing a novel called Endgame, which will be published next year, and is intended to launch a novel series. Now Fox has bought in, and will develop the story as a film. Frey will script.

There’s no real info on the story, which THR says has been “described as Hunger Games-like in tone by several sources.” Pretty much par for the course at this point that a new YA story would be compared to one of the most successful existing YA franchise, so that doesn’t tell us a whole lot.

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