Theo James has landed the lead role of Four in "Divergent," Lionsgate said Friday.
The studio has high hopes for the adaptation of Veronica Roth's best-selling novel. The thought is if the film team can capture the futuristic dystopia that Roth so memorably put on the page, they could have another lucrative "Hunger Games" franchise on their hands.
James is a relative unknown, but the English actor has had turns in the likes of "Underworld: Awakenings" and "Downton Abbey." He will star opposite Shailene Woodley, who earned critical raves for her work in "The Descendants."
In the world of "Divergent," people are divided into distinct factions based on their personalities. The problem for Tris Prior (Woodley) is that she is warned she is divergent and will never fit into any one group. Four is one of the leaders of one of these factions who eventually becomes Tris' love interest.
Neil Burger ("Limitless") is directing from a script by Vanessa Taylor. Principal photography starts this April in Chicago, and the film is set to be released on March 21, 2014. That's the same time of year that Lionsgate launched "The Hunger Games."