Earlier this year Hypable hit the set of Divergent. To celebrate the third book’s release this past Tuesday, we’re revealing the first part of our set report!
Chicago, Illinois is the location of Veronica Roth’s fictional Divergent story. Luckily for her canon world and its readers, the real Chicago is where the highly-anticipated book to film adaptation conducted its entire three-month shoot.
On May 16 of this year, Hypable and other sites visited Cinespace, a new studio still under construction in Chicago for the city’s burgeoning film industry. It’s nondescript exterior in a less-than-Chicaqo-esque part of town may fool a passerby. Not only is one of the most popular book series filming within its walls, but A-list stars like Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet are behind closed doors turning Roth’s dystopian trilogy into what Summit and Lionsgate hope can be called the next Hunger Games.
Hypable had the opportunity to tour many of the sets including an Abnegation village where Tris’ family resides. The outdoor set was a short drive away from Cinespace and sat in the heart of downtown Chicago just a couple blocks away from the city’s iconic Sears Tower. The series of homes were still under construction when we visited and were demolished after the film shot the exterior scenes they needed.
Numerous photos of the set have been posted online from outside of the fenced-off area, but for the first time today we can unveil photos from within the village itself.
As you can see from their appearance even midway through being built, the homes are as simple as the Abnegation people. The residents of this faction are selfless and are more concerned about helping others rather than having lavish things for themselves:
The scene we watched the cast and crew film? Tris jumps up into the train with a little help from Four who’s already inside. After a quick hair swing to move her gorgeous, long locks out of the way, she stands by Christina and Will. Moments later, Eric notices that she’s on board and asks who let her in. Four stares him down and tells him it was he. The two hold a tense relationship and that’s evident in this scene.
During a break from filming we had a chance to tour the train car the cast were working in. Fans will be delighted to know that every detail is carefully considered to make the world as loyal to the story as possible. On the walls are signs proudly placed by one particular faction. “[This train] brought to you by Abnegation. Our humble service maintains stability,” reads one sign in a font that’s so small you’ll probably never read it on screen. “Train car inspection,” reads another with minute details about the safety of the vehicle below the header.
Another set we walked on was easily the biggest during our day: The pit. A critical area in Divergent‘s Dauntless compound where many scenes take place, not only did we tour the cavernous set but we also interviewed many of the film’s stars there including Caleb actor Ansel Elgort. Our interview with him will come at a later date. The pit had numerous areas that looked ripe for filming and was larger than a professional basketball court. The walls went up three to four stories in some parts.
Other sets we saw included the simulation room and the beautifully simple interior of a Abnegation home.