Jeff Daniels Joining 'Divergent' Series in Key Role (Exclusive)

Jeff Daniels Newsroom Premiere - H 2014
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The actor is in final negotiations to appear in 'Allegiant: Part 1' and 'Part 2.'

Jeff Daniels is in final negotiations to join the cast of Lionsgate's Divergent YA franchise, with a deal about to close that says he will appear in Allegiant: Part 1 and Part 2.

Robert Schwentke is directing Part 1, which will begin shooting in May. A helmer for Part 2 has not been announced yet.

The movies continue Lionsgate's adaptation of the best-selling book series by Veronica Roth and will see Shailene Woodley star as Tris, a young woman who does not fall into any of the factions governing her postapocalyptic society and ends up leading an uprising with her close friends.

Daniels will play David, the leader of the Bureau of Genetic Welfare. The bureau is behind the creation of the societies in which Tris was living, and the reason behind their creation slowly is revealed (mainly in Part 2) to be nefarious.

Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher and Pouya Shahbazian are producing the movies, with Part 1 slated for a March 18, 2016, release.

This is the second large-scale project that Daniels has become involved with recently. He will appear opposite Matt Damon in Ridley Scott's space-rescue drama The Martian, which opens Nov. 25, 2015.

Daniels will have a busy fall season, as he also co-stars in Steve Jobs, playing former Apple CEO John Sculley in the biopic that reteams him with Aaron Sorkin, the creator of Daniels' HBO drama The Newsroom. (Sorkin wrote the script for Jobs.)

Daniels is repped by ICM Partners and Martino Management.