A Slice of Divergent Fandom, as seen through Twitter

MaeAAMThe Divergent series may not have the dedicated fandom that Harry Potter and Hunger Games had—otherwise the movies would have done better and this post would not even be necessary. But there is clearly a core group of fans that are most distressed at the news that the final installment (Ascendant) will most likely appear as a TV movie rather than in the cinema. Several hashtags (#AscendantOnTheBigScreenm #MakeAscendantAMovie, #MakeAsendantMovie) have cropped up on Twitter. I was surprised by a few things as I read through them and so, like a good Erudite, I decided to do a little very informal analysis.

flyingallegiant-640x345Of the 126 tweets I read and classified, slightly more than half (70) were in English. The rest were all in other languages, the majority (35) Spanish.  Other languages I recognized were Portuguese, Italian and French. I knew Divergent had a strong international audience but I was surprised by how strong an international voice turned up on Twitter. I guess that is why Ms. Roth’s jetsonsnext book (Carve the Mark) will be released in 33 languages when it debuts.  It also reaffirms my opinion that lots of the movie decisions (e.g. replacing the rickety old planes with George Jetson-style sprockets) were made based how they would play in international markets, or how they would fly (pardon the pun) in future theme park attractions.   [Read more…]

Ascendant (aka Allegiant Part Two) Movie cancelled; may be TV movie instead.

Divergent-Allegiant-Movie-PosterThis news broke a couple of days ago on Variety, and has not been confirmed by Lionsgate; but it also has not been denied, so I guess it is true. Allegiant-the-movie (or rather, Allegiant-the-movie-somewhat-loosely-inspired-by Veronica Roth’s-Allegiant-the-novel) failed to scale the high wall of acceptable reviews and–more importantly, no doubt–box office proceeds.  Lionsgate has decided not to proceed with Ascendant-the-movie, but rather will tie up the franchise with a TV movie, that will hopefully launch a new TV series with different characters set in Roth’s dystopia.

divergent_series_ascendantAs the resident Divergent-junkie and Veronica Roth fangirl, I see the news as a mixed bag.  It is crystal-clear that Lionsgate overplayed its hand in thinking they could squeeze four films out of this trilogy, especially when the book they chose to “split,” Allegiant, itself disappointed so many fans. As it was, the Insurgent and Allegiant movies deviated so much from the books that inspired them that I don’t think I’ll miss the fourth movie on the big screen.  There’s also the fact that they basically used up all their source material in the third movie, unless they planned to spend 2 hours killing Tris and scattering her ashes from the Hancock Tower. Link to the Mugglenet academia podcast for more details on this. [Read more…]

Blog on Psychology and Young Adult Literature

NecklaceI just did my second guest post on the YAWednesday blog, (albeit in a special Friday edition for the Mockingjay premiere) on how psychology and YAL inform each other.  References to Harry, Katniss and Tris abound, as well as shout-outs to reader favorites like Mugglenet Academia, the Chestnut Hill conference and Hogwartsprofessor.com itself.

This is a great blog for students, teachers or anyone interested in the most critically acclaimed YAL out there.  New posts every Wednesday by scholars and writers, plus information on conferences and new publications.

A Trio of Trailers and a Study in Contrasts

I’ve watched one Hunger Games and two Allegiant trailers today and wanted to make a few comments.  First up:  Mockingjay 2.

Wow!  I would say the Gamemakers have decided, why change something that’s working?  We see a lot of familiar faces and sweet scenes (Annie and Finnick, Katniss and Haymitch, Katniss and Prim and even a Katniss and hopefully de-hijacked Peeta) interspersed with a lot of action. That is to be expected from the invasion of the Capitol, and I love Finnick’s “Welcome to the 76th Hunger Games” line.  I didn’t see anything that jumped out and said, “Hey, that wasn’t in the book!”, except for Effie back in her froo-froo clothes, and she was such a welcome addition Erika+Bierman+Premiere+Lionsgate+Hunger+Games+31Qa872Vrywlto Mockingjay 1 that I’ll let that one pass.  The only think that surprised me was the apparently lush and manicured garden for Finnick and Annie’s wedding, a luxury I didn’t think district 13 could afford.  But I am crossing my fingers for something as good as Catching Fire and Mockingjay 1, and the filmmakers seemed to have decided sticking to the book is good.

Besides, the lovely Erika Bierman, who stole our hearts as President’s Snow’s Nameless Granddaughter in her two brief scenes in Catching Fire, was spotted on the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere.  Here’s hoping she can do more than unbraid her hair in this movie!

On to Allegiant, with two trailers, one a “teaser” (with a recap of the first two movies and one a new “official trailer.”

[Read more…]

Allegiant Part II Becomes Ascendant

FIN01_Allegiant_Tsr_Online-mtv-1441889472A surprise announcement came from the Divergent movie franchise: that it would break the Deathly Hallows and Mockingjay tradition and bestow a new title on the second Allegiant film: Ascendant. Furthermore, they released two posters with the film taglines: for Allegiant, “Break the boundaries of your world,” and for AscendantThe end is never what you expect.” The posters are simple:  black with glowing blue faction-style symbols.  Allegiant’s is a wave, reminiscent of the book cover; Ascendant’s is a never-before- seen DNA symbol. [Read more…]