Divergent should have been the next big teen movie franchise. It had all the ingredients – it was based on a popular book series, had a strong female lead and featured heroic teens fighting an evil government. And yet audiences, after the first couple of instalments, lost interest. So what went wrong?
The first Divergent novel by Veronica Roth was very successful. It focused on a young woman in a post-apocalyptic world where humans were divided based on character traits. The different “factions” in the story are Dauntless, Abnegation, Candor, Erudite and Amity – or bravery, selflessness, honesty, intelligence and kindness respectively.
Critics commented from the beginning that Divergent bore a strong resemblance to another post-apocalyptic novel, The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins’ story which became an incredibly popular movie series. Indeed, comparisons to the films would dog the Divergent franchise right from the beginning.