Let’s get something straight: Divergent is not the same as The Hunger Games; Tris (played by Shailene Woodley) is not the second coming of Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence); and future dystopian Chicago is not even remotely similar to Panem.
We understand Divergent and The Hunger Games series are generally comparable. Both movies are based on young adult book series about female heroines fighting against an oppressive regime. We even realize that there are similarities between Tris and Katniss. For instance, both characters would do anything to protect their families and loved ones — but the same can be said for many, many big screen heroes.
The comparisons between Divergent and The Hunger Games are lazy. As Angela Watercutter said in her article for Wired, pointing out the similarities between these two films is “as if Spider-Man were the next Batman because they’re both average guys who wear costumes and fight crime.”
If you have the same knee-jerk reaction to the Spider-Man and Batman comparison that we did (Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne are so different!), then you understand how fans of Divergent feel about all the comparisons to The Hunger Games.
The only good that can come out of equating Divergent to The Hunger Games is that fans of the established movie series (who haven’t already read Divergent) will check it out. Hopefully, once the movie debuts in March, everyone will realize how different they are — or it’ll get worse, which means we’ll be having this discussion again.