Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sign on to Direct a YA Movie, Don't Expect Repeat Employment

Is this just a pattern I am noticing, or am I insane?  

Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Divergent, the latest young adult dystopian adaptation, is already seeking a director for the second installment, Insurgent.  Divergent, which stars Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort and Kate Winslet, doesn't hit theaters until March, but director Neil Burger will not be returning to helm the sequel.  

Aren't we jumping the gun here?  Shouldn't Lionsgate make sure that what they have is more Hunger Games than Golden Compass?  I don't think they would trash Insurgent considering that it was greenlit back in May, but the first film could be a giant trainwreck, right?  Maybe the fans will hate the first adaptation, and then the second film will be put on hold.  I am talking out of my ass in this sidebar note.

Remember when Catherine Hardwicke directed the first Twilight, and then all of a sudden there were rumors that she was fired?  She backed out of directing New Moon, because she wanted to take the time to make it.  Summit wanted the movie out as soon as possible, and Hardwicke had a right of refusal written in her contract.  She dodged a bullet there, because the movies went down in quality after she left the franchise.  I mean you can't polish a turd.  

Gary Ross directed The Hunger Games last year, and decided to not direct Catching Fire.  Ross, like Hardwicke, wanted more prep time, and ultimately passed on directing the sequel.  Catching Fire has already made almost $750 million worldwide, and friends I've talked to favor the sequel to the original.  

In EW's piece, a Summit rep claims that Burger will be putting his finishing touches in post-production when Insurgent begins pre-production.  Guess they don't want that sucker to breathe for one second.  Perhaps that's how all productions for franchises go, but it sounds like a revolving door.  

Are you excited to see Divergent?

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