The first of the last part of the bestselling trilogy “The Divergent Series” book-to-movie blockbuster franchise, “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” is about to explode with epic action scenes, spectacular vistas and unexpected twists in cinemas on March 9, one week advance of its US release.
“The Divergent Series: Allegiant” follows Tris, Four and their comrades as they escape the walled city of Chicago and embark on their most astonishing adventure yet. With Chicago on the verge of an all-out civil war, Tris (Shailene Woodley) leads Four (Theo James), Christina (Zoë Kravitz), Peter (Miles Teller), Tori (Maggie Q) and Caleb (Ansel Elgort) on a harrowing escape from the walled city, chased by armed guards loyal to self-appointed leader EVELYN (Naomi Watts). Outside Chicago for the first time in their lives, the five find themselves being pursued by EDGAR (Jonny Weston) through a toxic wasteland known as the Fringe before being rescued and escorted to the ultra-high-tech compound of the Bureau of Genetic Welfare.
Once there, Bureau mastermind David (Jeff Daniels) singles out Tris for being genetically “pure” and enlists her to champion his mysterious cause. While Tris receives special treatment, including access to “memory tabs” that enable her to relive her own family history, Four joins Bureau soldiers on a supposedly humanitarian mission to remove children from a ragtag Fringe encampment.
Discovering that David plans to use the Bureau’s astonishing technologies for inhumane ends, Tris hijacks his private aircraft and returns with her team to Chicago. Faced with a shocking betrayal, they must try to stop Evelyn before she unleashes a memory-erasing gas on the city’s entire population, including the Allegiant rebel force led by Johanna (Octavia Spencer).
At the heels of the previously released hit movies from the books by author Veronica Roth, “The Divergent” and “Insurgent,” the latest instalment “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” goes on a different world for the heroic team to finally discover what being a Divergent truly means.
Woodley, too, relished the challenge of pushing her character toward new horizons. “When we first met Tris in Divergent, she empowered herself,” says the actress. “In Insurgent, she’s guilt-ridden and winds up being betrayed by her brother Caleb. In Allegiant, Tris goes outside of Chicago because she feels like it’s part of her destiny.”
Director Robert Schwentke wanted to immerse audiences in the world beyond Chicago by filling the screen with bigger visual effects, more monumental vistas and more exciting action sequences than anything featured in the previous films. Between set-ups, cast members were literally left hanging. “You’d just be there for hours,” Woodley laughs. “It’s not very comfortable.”
Woodley, James, Kravitz, Teller, Elgort and Q, spent three days at the quarry, plus five more days shooting on a smaller, less steeply angled wall built to make it easier for the actors to say their lines while climbing. Elgort, an experienced rock climber in real life, had to forget everything he knew to portray his character properly. “Running up a real wall vertically was pretty sick,” he recalls. “My challenge was making it look like I didn’t know what I was doing because Caleb can’t run and climb. I had to slam my body against the wall. I wore all these pads so it didn’t cut me up, but those scenes completely chewed up my costume.”
“The Divergent Series: Allegiant” opens March 9 in cinemas nationwide from Pioneer Films.