SOUTH LOOP — An army of black-suited residents of a future Chicago have descended on the South Loop as crews shoot scenes for the upcoming film "Divergent" Friday.
The film is based on Chicago author Veronica Roth's best-selling dystopian novel, in which a Chicago teen doesn't fit into her heavily divided world. The movie stars actress Shailene Woodley ("The Descendants," "The Secret Life of an American Teenager") and began filming some scenes at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios this spring.
Friday's action is happening in the South Loop, however. A vacant lot at Harrison and Wells has been transformed into a futuristic Chicago neighborhood. Construction crews began building the small-scale cityscape in late April. Fangirls gathered to watch filming and talk with some members of the "Divergent" crew.
"I read both books last year, and I found out they were going to film here," said Rebecca Weaver, 15. Weaver slept over at her grandmother's home in the nearby River City complex so she and her sister, Rachel Weaver, 14, could see the filming.
The Weavers and two others — friends Anna Dennis and Carolina Cannon, both 14 and of Hyde Park — were toting signs as they watched extras march in and out of the buildings.
The girls said they knew what scene was being shot because they had been talking with people from the set (warning: spoilers): the Dauntless, a faction charged with keeping the city secure, has been put under a "mindspell" and is attacking the peaceful and selfless Abnegation faction.
The Weavers said they had walked through the Harrison and Wells set the night before. They plan to return Saturday to see more filming at the location.
The movie is expected to bring 1,000 jobs and more than $30 million in spending to the state, Gov. Pat Quinn has said.