Divergent sequel will follow filming incentives and shoot Atlanta
The sequel to sci-fi drama Divergent will shift from Chicago to film mainly on location in Atlanta, as the production team looks to Georgia’s more generous filming incentive programme. Similar to The Hunger Games, Divergent tells a Young Adult drama set in a dystopian city.
“I wanted to shoot in Chicago from the beginning and that was really important to me and I really fought hard for it,” Director Neil Burger told the Chicago Sun-Times: “I wanted the movie to feel different than other movies set in the future. Chicago has such a monumental skyline that has such production value. It was my vision for the movie to use the landmarks.
“The studios want to shoot with wherever has the best rebates. I think they’ll do a couple [of] weeks in Chicago [for the sequel, Insurgent] and I think they’ll try to do the interiors in Atlanta. The incentives are better there.”
Erik Feig is Co-President of Lionsgate Motion Pictures Group, which owns Summit Entertainment. Talking to the outlet he was full of praise for Chicago as a filming location but added that a more generous filming incentive would be needed if the Divergent franchise was to return to Illinois for trilogy-closer Allegiant.
Divergent became the first major feature to shoot at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios and reportedly spent more than USD30 million locally.
I wanted to shoot in Chicago from the beginning and that was really important to me and I really fought hard for it.
Neil Burger, Director
The Hunger Games franchise made a similar move to Atlanta after shooting its first entry on location in North Carolina. Georgia offers the same 30% filming incentive as Illinois but provides greater fringe benefits and also qualifies star salaries more generously, a useful component for successful franchises that usually see cast paycheques soar after the first film.
Chicago had a strong 2013, with Divergent contributing to a 20% year-on-year location filming increase. The city hosted six TV series simultaneously, including Dick Wolf productions Chicago Fire and Chicago PD.
(Stills: Summit Entertainment)
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