Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Top Five Things I Hate About The Divergent Movie Poster

So the latest poster for the Divergent movie just came out.

*Deep breaths*

I haven't been this steamed since Amazon dragged the cover of Anne of Green Gables through the post beer garden mud wrestling competition. Readers enamored with the red-headed orphan, cried 'shame' when the saw the buxom blond in the plaid shirt with the 'come hither stare'.


Thankfully, Amazon pulled the 'updated' covers.

But this is the movies, kid. And it's a whole other ballgame.

Dear Hollywood,

This is so, so wrong.


A devoted reader

Here are the top five things I hate strongly dislike about this poster.

1. Tris is the main character, yet Four is center stage. It's HER story. Why is she in the background taking the place of a sidekick?

2. They're on top of a high rise. The dude hates heights.

3. Tris is all curves and clad in tight leather. Her long hair is flowing in the breeze. She's gazing wantonly into the distance. What is this, Beyonce's halftime show at the Super Bowl? Everyone knows Tris is tiny. Yet, despite her size, she proved herself worthy of the toughest crowd in town. I don't get that vibe from this poster.

4. Four is armed with an assault rifle or something equally deadly. Where are Tris's weapons? Oh wait, is she supposed to use her 'wanton stare' to disarm enemies?

5. Her butt is literally the middle of the poster. I've seen more panache from a Calvin Klein billboard.

If this was the original cover for the novel I would have NEVER picked it up.

There, rant over.

Please click on a share button below and spread the outrage.

Tris deserves a better poster.


Tonja Drecker said...

Ug! I haven't seen the poster yet and can't say that I'm glad I have now. AWFUL! What were they thinking?
Well, before I go and try to wash my eyes of this memory (can you ruin the story more?), I thought I'd let you know you've been nominated for the Sweetest Blogger Award.
Why? because although I'm terrible at commenting, I always love to stop by. Thanks for always making me laugh!

Jane Lebak said...

I'm trying to decide where the visual lines are drawing the eye, and they're not drawing it anywhere. My stepfather is an oil painter, so I grew up hearing analyses of paintings around the dinner table, and one of the things we returned to a lot was how the eye gets drawn through the painting.

In general, you want the viewer's gaze directed to something. And yeah, the first thing you see is her ass because it's right next to his face, but that's really not where the lines of sight are leading you. They're leading you to…

…nothing. There is no concentrated effort to lead the viewer to look out into the distance or down into the city or anywhere. You've just got a flat, two-dimensional tableau, which people are going to unconsciously connect with a flat story. (And my understanding is that Divergent is hardly a flat story at all.)

But you stick a bunch of cliches on a movie poster and don't make it visually interesting (just throwing a whole bunch of crap into a photo makes it cluttered, not interesting) and bang! Someone who hasn't read the books (like me) feels no incentive to check out the movie.

Marketing FAIL. The movie may be amazing, but I'm not sure this poster is going to do the job.

Leandra Wallace said...'s definitely a glamorized Hollywood edition! What they specialize in, unfortunately... =)

BR Myers said...

Oh Jane, you're so smart. I look at all the negative stuff and you're focusing on the art. There are two kinds of people... ;)

BR Myers said...

Aw, Tonja. Thanks so much. I'm honored. *blushes*

Jane Lebak said...

You looked at all the negative stuff, and I looked at all the negative stuff *about the art.* Same diff. ;-)

Jane Lebak said...

Actually, I want to take it one further: compare Tris in the poster to Linda Hamilton in this really insightful article about female action heroes:

This trend is disturbing but not accidental: The diets these women go on to prepare for their roles mean that no matter how much training they do, they’re not eating enough to build muscle. To prepare for her role as Catwoman, Anne Hathaway went vegan and was, by her own account, too weak to master the exercises. Not surprisingly she failed to build any muscle despite intensive training. Gwyneth Paltrow published her “elimination” diet in her book, It’s All Good, and indeed it does appear she does more eliminating than eating. […]
I say we bring back Ellen Ripley. To prepare for her role in Aliens, Sigourney Weaver did dumbbell chest presses, squats, shoulder presses and rows—all with weights—and she didn’t diet at all. Did you hear that? Not at all. I say we bring back Sarah Connor. In Terminator 2, Linda Hamilton did basic soldier training and ate a high-protein diet, and, indeed, she has guns in her hands and on her arms.

Maybe Tris has no weapons because Hollywood just cannot understand that women who fight need muscle.

Unknown said...

I think her butt being dead center is a marketing stroke of genius.

Well, at least for the guys staring at it, that is. lol

Donna Hosie said...

It's not the worst I've seen, but it is so heavily photoshopped that it looks like a painting.

I think 4 in the front is supposed to appeal to the teens. It's all very meh.

Lori M. Lee said...


Chagford said...

I am very disappointed in this poster. I agree, this is Tris' story NOT Four's. If the positions were reversed it would be heaps better.

The Hunger Games got it right, (see link below). No excuses, Divergent.

I wonder how Veronica Roth feels about this. Sadly, she probably doesn't get much say in the matter.

Danelle Miller said...

Gross. God forbid a teen girl be allowed to be a badass and not a nice ass to look at.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, Abnegation can't even use mirrors except for when they are cutting their hair and wear grey clothing but Tris has loads of mascara on in the trailer. She isn't supposed to wear makeup until Christina makes her in Dauntless. And did I miss her or did the trailer completely ignore Christina, her best friend. uhg, so many problems withe the movie trailer! Marcus is supposed to be talking at the choosing ceremony, not Jeanine. And why is Tris' Abnegation uniform a dress? She is supposed to be wearing loose fitting pants. I also dont like what Dauntless HQ looks like, its supposed to be underground and cavelike, not all hightech. and finally someone else thought of the hights thing on the poster, come on people, read the book that you are writing a movie about.

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