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Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” on path from novel to big screen?

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Could “Divergent” be the next teen-targeted literary property designated to fill the void left by the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” franchises?

It’s possible, which is why billionairess Meg Ellison is snatching up the movie rights to the as-yet-unpublished novel from young-adult author Veronica Roth. Vulture, which breaks the story, reports that Roth “wrote her first novel, signed with an agent, and landed a three-book deal” last year while still studying at Northwestern University.

“We hear that Ellison is negotiating to acquire the feature rights to Roth’s book series for Sony-based producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher, who’ve produced movies like ‘Gladiator,’ ‘Stuart Little,’ and ‘Memoirs of a Geisha,’” Vulture reports.

The novel takes place in a fictional world where at the age of 16, every human must choose a virtue to pursue (at the exclusion of all others). Roth’s story, according to Vulture, “follows a young girl named Beatrice who decides to buck the system and create a new identity for herself, with risky consequences.”

“Divergent” doesn’t have a vice grip on the teen market. Hollywood also is pursuing film adaptations of the wildly popular “Hunger Games” books by Suzanne Collins. So there might be plenty of teen-friendly move material in theaters in the coming years.

Roth’s novel, meanwhile, will be in stores in May.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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