Posted on Friday, October 19th, 2012 by Angie Han
Landing a key part in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would be enough to make most up-and-coming actress’ months, but for Shailene Woodley the good news just keeps on coming.
The Descendants actress has entered talks for the coveted lead role in Divergent, the Neil Burger-directed adaptation of Veronica Roth‘s popular YA trilogy. The books have been touted as the next Hunger Games, which means Woodley could be leading her very own blockbuster franchise if all goes well. More details after the jump.
Roth’s books take place in a dystopian version of Chicago, in which all citizens are divided into five factions: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Woodley would play 16-year-old Tris, who must choose which of those groups she’ll belong to for the rest of her life. The first novel, published in 2011, has sold over one million copies to date. A sequel hit shelves this May, and the final installment is due to hit in fall 2013. Snow White and the Huntsman scribe Evan Daugherty is on board to script the first film.
The 20-year-old Woodley has been acting for more than a decade, but it was her starring turn in ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager that put her on the map. She gained widespread critical acclaim playing George Clooney’s daughter in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, and has since shot Gregg Araki’s White Bird and James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now. Both are due out next year.
According to THR, Woodley was able to sign on to Divergent after (Spider-Man spoiler alert!) the Mary Jane role turned out to be a relatively small one. The trade reports that she’ll play a bigger part in the third installment, which will be based on Gwen Stacy’s death in the comics. (End spoilers.) Divergent is tentatively aiming to shoot in the first half of 2013, for a spring 2014 release.