Divergent Movie: Theo James Cast as Four
With casting for Catching Fire and The Mortal Instruments completed, we’ve been obsessing over the next mega YA book-to-movie franchise, Divergent by Veronica Roth. Since Shailene Woodley was cast as Tris in Neil Burger’s film adaptation, the big question on everyone’s mind has been who will play the badass and much beloved Four?
At last, the long and torturous wait for Four casting news is over! Several casting announcements for the movie were made this past week, and we’re thrilled with the choices.
Theo James, better known to Downton Abbey fans as “Poor Mr. Pamuk” (the hunky Turkish diplomat who tempts Lady Mary into parting with her virtue), has been cast as Dauntless trainer (and stealer of hearts) Four. While many other actors were considered for the part, including Alex Pettyfer, Alexander Ludwig, Jeremy Irvine and Lucas Till, Lionsgate/Summit ultimately selected Theo, and had no trouble justifying their choice.
Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger, co-chairmen of Lionsgate, said: “Theo is not only an incredibly talented actor, he is also whom we envisioned as Four when reading Veronica’s novel, which has taken the world by storm. As we continue to develop the film, the studio remains committed to providing fans with a movie adaptation that stays as true to the book as possible, and we are confident that we have done so with our selection of Shailene and Theo in the leading roles.”
Erik Feig, Lionsgate’s president of production: “We took our time to find the right actor to fill the role of Four, and Theo is definitely the perfect fit. Veronica has crafted a truly iconic character in Four, and we cannot wait to begin production and bring him and this story to life for millions of fans around the world.”
Veronica Roth responded to the Four casting announcement with enthusiasm, saying: “Recently I saw Theo James’ screen test with Shailene Woodley, and I was sure within seconds: this was Four, no question. Theo is able to capture Four’s authority and strength, as well as his depth and sensitivity. He is a perfect match for Shailene’s incredibly strong presence as Tris. I’m thrilled!”
For his part, Theo seems thrilled too, telling Entertainment Weekly: “As a fan of Divergent, I am thrilled to have been chosen for the role of Four and to be a part of such a phenomenal story. As an actor, I am excited to explore and play this incredibly complex and mysterious character. Director Neil Burger is a remarkably visionary filmmaker. Along with the incredibly talented Shailene Woodley, we are looking forward to the fantastic adventure of bringing this beloved book to life on the big screen for all the fans.”
More gratuitous Theo pics:
Australian actor Jai Courtney (A Good Day to Die Hard) has signed on to play Dauntless leader Eric, who has little mercy for his faction’s initiates, and has no problem collaborating on nefarious schemes to exploit his faction.
Miles Teller will rejoin Shailene Woodley, who co-stars with him in The Spectacular Now, this time in a more antagonistic role as Peter, a Dauntless initiate who bullies and torments Tris and his fellow Dauntless hopefuls.
Zoe Kravitz (X-Men: First Class) will play Christina, a former Candor member who befriends Tris during their Dauntless initiation.
Maggie Q (Nikita) will play Tori, a Dauntless faction tattoo artist and simulation test administrator. Tori gives Tris her simulation trial when Tris gets less than conventional results.
Ansel Elgort will take on the role of Tris’ brother Caleb, who leaves Abnegation to join the Erudite faction. I certainly wouldn’t want to spoil Insurgent for anyone, but I will say I’m VERY excited to see this character in action.
Veronica Roth also addressed the castings of Maggie, Ansel and Zoe on her blog, saying:
“They are all extremely talented (not to mention spectacular matches for the characters in my head) and I’m so happy that they’re going to be a part of the Divergent movie.”
We already know that Kate Winslet is in talks for a role, and given that Tori is taken now, the other likely options are Tris’ mother or Erudite faction leader Jeanine Matthews. Taking into consideration the size of the parts and her stardom level, our best guess is Jeanine. Aaron Eckhart and Ray Stevenson are also in talks for roles, though no word yet on which characters. Possibilities include Abnegation leader Marcus and Tris’ father.
Divergent opens March 21, 2014, and begins shooting next month in Chicago.
What do YOU think of these castings?