Shailene Woodley will make around $250,000 (though that could rise to $500,000) for the first instalment of the Divergent franchise. Based on Veronica Roth's popular trilogy set in a dystopic future, Divergent is a big-budget project for Lionsgate and the studio thought long and hard about its lead actress in the fall of 2012.

Shailene Woodley DivergentShailene Woodley [L] in 'Divergent'

Woodley was one of the most in-demand young actresses at the time. She was the reportedly the first choice to play Anastasia Steele in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie and was also being hotly pursued for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Woodley was becoming off the back of a breakout performance in Alexander Payne's drama The Descendants with George Clooney and Lionsgate were keen to tie down the actress for all three movies.

"Having come off a TV show [The Secret Life of an American Teenager], I was kind of in the place where I was like, 'I'm never signing a contract for more than one movie,' because once you do sign a contract, legally, you're liable," she told the Hollywood Reporter. "[Even] if you don't find something creatively stimulating anymore, you've still got to do it legally."

More: when the Divergent stars zip-lined into the Jimmy Kimmel show.

Lionsgate head honcho Erik Feig enlisted the help of Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence to persuade Woodley to sign on for multiple films. Since signing on for the similarly dystopian drama, Lawrence has become an Oscar winning actress and arguably the most in-demand star on the planet. 

Shailene WoodleyIs Shailene Woodley The New Jennifer Lawrence?

In a series of emails, according to Woodley, Lawrence said: "You must do it. You will not regret it for a second. Yes, there are some hard things, but there are so many beautiful things that will come from an opportunity like this'".

"I don't know what happened," recalled Feig, "but I do know that after that interaction, Shailene said: 'OK, now I'll make Divergent. Let's talk.'"

As for her salary, it's pretty much in line with what Lawrence made for the first Hunger Games movie, though she reportedly negotiated a $10 million deal for the second movie, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. That figure was a combination of salary, bonuses and various escalators. 

More: check our the 'Hunger Games' alternate cast.

It's likely that Woodley has various box-office bonuses in her contract, though if the first Divergent movie takes off as it is expected to do, she'll be renegotiating a potentially enormous pay packet.

The first Divergent movie will be released on March 21, 2014. It is expected to do around $65 million during its opening weekend. 

Watch our Divergent featurette: