Now that Shailene Woodley has potentially been cast as Tris in the upcoming movie adaptation of Divergent, things are finally kicking into high gear for Veronica Roth‘s dystopian novel. Out of all the YA trilogies I started while looking to fill the Hunger Games-shaped hole in my life, Divergent has been my favorite thus far. It details a futuristic Chicago where young people are divided into one of five factions and must choose which one to spend their adulthood in.
Since reading the book a year ago, I’ve been pondering who I would cast in the movie. Because Tris and her fellow faction initiates come from such different worlds, you need young actors who can play the emotional as well as physical trials that they endure in the Dauntless faction. Not all of these actors could commit to the roles we want for them because they may be otherwise engaged. But hey, that’s why it’s a dream cast.
Caleb Prior – Kyle Gallner
With Tris’ older brother Caleb described as having dark hair, I was initially tempted to go with popular choice Logan Lerman. But I felt like casting him would make him look too similar to Four, so I went with Kyle, whose work I’ve always admired. He’s not necessarily the dreamy guy, but Kyle has already embodied unforgettable roles in Veronica Mars and Jennifer’s Body. I can easily see him playing Caleb, who also leaves Abnegation but for Erudite, and who admires Tris’ bravery even if he can’t emulate it himself.
Four – Ben Barnes
God, I agonized over this one for ages. I know that shortly after Shailene’s casting Alexander Ludwig tweeted that he was chatting with Divergent producers about playing Four, but to be honest, I just can’t see it. (Hate to say it, but him playing Cato in The Hunger Games has me thinking of him primarily as villains.) For Four, I kept switching among a lot of different actors, including fan favorites Colton Haynes (Teen Wolf), Diego Boneta (Rock of Ages), and Drew Roy (Falling Skies). But ultimately I chose Ben. He’s had plenty of experience as a leading man in movies like The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Dorian Gray, but not actually good material. He looks like the Four in my head, and I think he could rise to the challenge of this material.
Christina – Kat Graham
By contrast, this one was so easy: The moment I reread Christina’s description, I immediately thought of the Vampire Diaries star and Crushable 25-er. Now, I imagine Kat is locked into her show for several seasons more, but she could shoot the movie over her hiatus, or maybe they could briefly write Bonnie out. The charisma and fierceness she’s played as young witch Bonnie brings to mind Christina’s loyalty to Tris and her part in helping Tris transform herself within Dauntless.
Photo: Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com
Will – Lucas Till
After seeing Lucas in X-Men: First Class, I want this talented young actor to get more roles! Plus, I can easily envision him as Tris’ friend — and Christina’s boyfriend — a former Erudite kid who helps defend Tris from her competitors. With his sly smile, Lucas can play the comic relief but also bring the necessary protectiveness.
Photo: Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com
Al – Jacob Wysocki
I’ve seen people cast husky actors as Al, but from the beginning I’ve imagined him as someone who has been kicked to the dirt for as long as he can remember. Other choices like Max Adler still have that confidence, whereas Jacob has already astounded audiences as an insecure teen in Terri and looks to be building up to the same kind of performance in Fat Kid Rules the World. His characters are witty and sensitive and smart but lack the ability to actually stand up for themselves. This is how I see Al, who develops an unrequited crush on Tris but also comes to resent her for rising to the top of the Dauntless ranks while he’s consistently at the bottom because from day one he makes it clear that he doesn’t know how to defend himself.
Photo: Whitewater Films
Peter – Freddie Stroma
Even though I’ve interviewed Freddie before (when he was in A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song) and he sounded like a total sweetheart, seeing him play a hot asshole in Pitch Perfect has me thinking he’d make a good antagonist. Of course, he would have to dye his hair to match the book’s description. But what most factors in for me is, can he play the malice and jealousy that motivate the popular Peter to target Tris as his main competition? And I think yes, Freddie can play Peter’s chilling, ruthless strategy.
Photo: Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com
Share your dream cast in the comments!