‘Insurgent': Octavia Spencer to play Johanna in ‘Divergent’ sequel

May 12, 2014 | 1:04 p.m.
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Ben Lloyd Hughes, Zoe Kravitz and Shailene Woodley in "Divergent." (Summit Entertainment)

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Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Ben Lamb, Zoe Kravitz and Jai Courtney in "Divergent." (Summit Entertainment)

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Shailene Woodley, Ashley Judd, Tony Goldwyn and Ansel Elgort in "Divergent." (Jaap Buitendijk / Summit Entertainment)

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Theo James, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller and Ben Lloyd Hughes in "Divergent." (Summit Entertainment)

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Shailene Woodley, author Veronica Roth and director Neil Burger on the set of "Divergent." (Summit Entertainment)

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Theo James, left, and Shailene Woodley in "Divergent." (Jaap Buitendijk / Summit Entertainment)

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Shailene Woodley, left, and Theo James in "Divergent." (Jaap Buitendijk / Summit Entertainment)

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Director Neil Burger, left, Jai Courtney and Theo James on the set of "Divergent." (Summit Entertainment)

Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer is set to join the cast of “Insurgent,” playing Johanna, the leader of the Amity faction, in the sequel to this spring’s “Divergent.”

Robert Schwentke will direct the film, the adaptation of the second novel in author Veronica Roth’s bestselling young adult series, and Shailene Woodley will reprise her role as Tris Prior, the young heroine who finds herself at odds with the government of a future society that tests and sorts its citizens into five factions based on personality.

After Tris finds out she is divergent, meaning she has an aptitude for multiple factions and doesn’t fall neatly into one category, she hides her divergence and decides to join Dauntless, the faction based on bravery, where she finds herself among a group of tattooed warriors.

Actress Octavia Spencer will play Johanna in the "Divergent" sequel, "Insurgent." (Courtesy of Lionsgate)

Actress Octavia Spencer will play Johanna in the “Divergent” sequel, “Insurgent.” (Courtesy of Lionsgate)

“Insurgent” tracks Tris’ journey as war between the factions looms, and she and compatriot Four (Theo James) are fugitives fleeing from the ruthless Erudite leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet).

“She has this sort of intelligent, scientific, brilliant brain and a desire to purify her nation, essentially,” Winslet said of her  character in a recent interview with Hero Complex. “Wanting to be the governing faction and overthrow Abnegation — all of these things, they really made for a very rich character. There was a lot for me to do in a short space of screen time, and I liked that challenge.”

PHOTOS: ‘Divergent’ character posters

“Insurgent,” written by Akiva Goldsman and Brian Duffield, is set to open March 20, 2015, with the third and fourth films in the series based on Roth’s novels, a two-part adaptation of the final book “Allegiant,” set to arrive March 18, 2016 and March 24, 2017.

Click through the gallery above for a more detailed look at “Divergent.”

– Gina McIntyre and Noelene Clark

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Tris (Shailene Woodley) in a character poster for "Divergent." (Summit Entertainment)Shailene Woodley embraces being divergent

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