'Divergent' trailer features post-apocalyptic Chicago

If you were expecting the “Divergent” trailer to be a commercial for Chicago tourism, you’re probably going to be disappointed.

The two and a half minute video released today is light on recognizable Chicago landmarks, other than the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier and Willis Tower. And because the sci-fi flick -- which was shot here from April to July this year -- is set in a post-apacalypitc future, these landmarks look more gloomy than flattering. I didn't recognize Lake Michigan, which appears to be a swampland in the film, until the second time I viewed the trailer.

On the other hand, the film once again proves that the city can handle a big budget, star-studded production. It's another feather in the cap for the Chicago Film Office, which also helped bring "Transformers: Age of Extinction" and "Jupiter Ascending" to the city this year. Best of all, "Divergent" filming was expected to bring in $30 million in local spending and 1,000 jobs, according to Gov. Pat Quinn.

“Divergent” revolves around teenager Beatrice “Tris” Prior (played by Shailene Woodley) and is set in a Chicago where the population has been split into five factions. The film is based on the 2011 young adult novel by Northwestern alum and Chicago resident Veronica Roth.

Filming took place at Navy Pier, the South Loop neighborhood (the production built the housing project you see in the trailer on a field at 600 S. Wells Street) and Cinespace Chicago Film Studios on the West Side, among other places.

“Chicago doesn't look like it's been fully operational for hundreds of years in the story,” said Chicago Film Office director Rich Moskal in June. “Filming outdoors would be complicated, but they still managed to do some (filming outside), like on LaSalle and Madison (streets). They removed all kinds of street furniture, like light poles, and dressed it up to make it look decayed.”

"Divergent" is scheduled to hit theaters March 21, 2014.

lgomez@tribune.com | Twitter @TribLuis

For more celebrity news and sightings in Chicago, go to chicagotribune.com/luis

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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