Divergent

It’s all well and good for studios to try and make the next Hunger Games. But as the disappointing box office tally for this weekend’s The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones reminds us, actually pulling off such a feat is easier said than done. For every Hunger Games — or Harry Potter or Twilight — there are several more The Golden Compasses, Eragons, and Beautiful Creatures-es.

One of the next films to try and succeed The Hunger Games will be Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley (who’s as close a thing to “the next Jennifer Lawrence” as we have) as a young woman living in dystopian Chicago. The first full-length trailer premiered at the MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday, and you can watch it after the jump.

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Divergent

Of the many, many YA properties vying to become the next Hunger Games, Divergent seems to have better odds than most. For one thing, the books by Veronica Roth are already a smash hit; for another, the dystopian premise sets up plenty of opportunities for white-knuckle action. Toss in a strong young cast led by Shailene Woodley, and it’s easy to see how Divergent could become the next big thing. Literally, even — the studio announced today that the film will be shown in IMAX when it opens next spring.

During today’s panel at Comic-Con, Summit showcased the first footage from the sci-fi thriller, featuring several of the best loved scenes from the books. Additionally, Roth was on hand to hint at what she has in store for the third book, Allegiant, due out this fall. Hit the jump for all the details. Read More »

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.

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As Summit prepares to say goodbye to its phenomenally popular Twilight franchise, the search is on for another YA adaptation to follow in its lucrative footsteps. One especially promising property is Divergent, a bestselling dystopian teen novel penned by Veronica Roth. Summit picked up the movie rights before the book even hit shelves, and is now eager to push the project into production.

To that end, they’ve just started early talks with Limitless director Neil Burger. Burger reportedly got the offer after beating out several other big-name filmmakers. More details after the jump.

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Author Dennis Lehane may not be a household name along the lines of John Grisham or Stephen King, but Hollywood’s found plenty to love in his novels as well. Adaptations of his books are three for thre when it comes to critical and commercial success — Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River, Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone, and Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island were all based on his tales — so there’s reason to get excited when news breaks of another of Lehane’s works making it to the big screen.

The next of these could be Animal Rescue, which has just tapped Limitless helmer Neil Burger to direct. The crime drama adapts short story of Lehane’s that was published in the (Lehane-edited) anthology Boston Noir. More details after the jump.

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In the wake of the success of Limitless, Neil Burger has already signed to make Sony’s video game adaptation Uncharted. But a new draft of that script is in the works, and even though he’s also writing, one expects there is no small amount of dealing with Sony to get that screenplay crafted, especially after the time spent with David O. Russell’s now-aborted Uncharted script. In other words: that one might take a minute to come together.

So Mr. Burger has set up a parallel development project. He’s attached to direct a new version of the Bonnie and Clyde story, with Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air) scripting based on the book Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde. Read More »

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The development of a film version of Sony’s treasure-hunting action/adventure game series Uncharted has turned into a surprisingly thorny process. Original director David O. Russell decided to depart from many story elements as presented in the games, and wanted to cast Mark Wahlberg as lead character Nathan Drake. Neither of those ideas sat well with a vocal legion of fans. Ultimately they didn’t sit well with Sony, either, and David O. Russell departed the picture.

Not long ago Neil Burger (Limitless) signed to replace him, and is in the process of developing a new script. With the Limitless DVD hitting this week, Mr. Burger is doing a bit of press. In fielding questions about the film he hasn’t revealed much, but does say that an all-new script is being created, and that the game story is likely to be front and center. Read More »

Briefly: Sony has tapped a new director for the video game adaptation Uncharted. Neil Burger, whose most recent film is the Bradley Cooper sci-fi thriller Limitless, will now write and direct the action-adventure movie about treasure hunter Nathan Drake. Read More »

‘Limitless’ Trailer

The last time we heard from Neil Burger‘s new film Limitless (formerly called Dark Fields) Bradley Cooper was shilling a fake wonder drug called NZT in a slick infomercial. (And then a sample of NZT actually arrived at my house. Nope, didn’t try it.)

Now there’s a trailer for the film, in which Bradley Cooper plays a guy who is introduced to a drug that will unlock all the potential of the human mind. He becomes a powerhouse. It’s like the superhero film for stockbrokers, but there’s a real downside. Watch it after the break. Read More »