June 04, 2014 9:35am PT by Tatiana Siegel , Borys Kit
Naomi Watts Joins 'Insurgent,' Two 'Allegiant' Films (Exclusive)
Naomi Watts has signed on to join the next three films in Lionsgate's Divergent franchise.
The actress, who recently committed to star in Gus Van Sant's Sea of Trees opposite Matthew McConaughey, is joining the cast of Divergent sequel Insurgent as Evelyn, leader of the Factionless. Watts' deal calls for her to co-star in the futuristic franchise's two final movies, which are based on Veronica Roth's YA novel Allegiant, the last book in the trilogy.
Watts will jump right to Insurgent, which began shooting last week in Atlanta. Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Kate Winslet and Miles Teller -- who all appeared in Divergent -- return for the sequel. Watts and Octavia Spencer are new additions to the cast. After Insurgent wraps in September, Watts will move on to Sea of Trees, which will take her through November. The in-demand actress is mulling a number of films after that.
Robert Schwentke, who replaced Divergent helmer Neil Burger, is directing Insurgent from a screenplay written by Brian Duffield and Akiva Goldsman.
Red Wagon's Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher are producing alongside Pouya Shahbazian.
Insurgent puts Watts, who typically gravitates toward indie projects with auteurs, in the YA tentpole game. Divergent, which opened on March 21, has earned $267 million worldwide. Still, she is no stranger to commercial films, having starred in Peter Jackson's King Kong and The Ring films. Watts has three films awaiting release: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Birdman, The Weinstein Co.'s St. Vincent -- opposite Melissa McCarthy -- and Noah Baumbach's While We're Young.
She is repped by CAA and Untitled.