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Robert Schwentke to direct ‘Divergent’ sequel ‘Insurgent’

Shailene Woodley and Theo James in "Divergent." Robert Schwentke will direct the sequel, "Insurgent."
(Jaap Buitendijk / Summit Entertainment)

“Insurgent,” the sequel to the upcoming dystopian action-adventure movie “Divergent,” now has a director: Robert Schwentke will helm the second installment of the film series starring Shailene Woodley and based on the bestselling young-adult book trilogy by Veronica Roth, Summit Entertainment announced in a statement Tuesday.

In “Divergent,” which opens March 21, Woodley plays Beatrice “Tris” Prior, a young warrior in a futuristic society in which citizens are divided into factions based on their personality types. “Insurgent,” which is scheduled for release March 20, 2015, continues Tris’ story as war approaches.

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German-born Schwentke takes over for “Divergent” director Neil Burger, who Summit announced recently wouldn’t direct the new movie due to the tight timing of the sequel. Schwentke’s directing credits include the romantic drama “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” the airline thriller “Flightplan,” and the over-the-hill action-comedy “Red.” He’s coming off a less successful outing with the supernatural buddy-cop movie “R.I.P.D” this summer.

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Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, who won an Oscar for “A Beautiful Mind” and makes his directorial debut this Valentine’s Day with “Winter’s Tale,” is penning the “Insurgent” script, based on a draft by Brian Duffield.

The popularity of Roth’s books has drawn comparisons to Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” novels, which Summit parlayed into a hugely successful film series, and to Suzanne Collins’ “Hunger Games” trilogy, which Summit parent Lionsgate has likewise turned into a blockbuster franchise.

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Summit appears to have high hopes for the “Divergent” series. A third film, “Allegiant,” is already scheduled for March 18, 2016.

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