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While the details are still scarce, it’s looking like the final film in the Divergent series will not be released in theaters.
Instead, Variety reports that it will be adapted into a TV movie with a spinoff series. The original plan was for The Divergent Series: Ascendant to premiere June 2017 in theaters, but now the plan is for the movie to be adapted for the small screen. The report is that the TV movie will wrap up the Divergent series story-line while also introducing a new cast for a spinoff TV series.
The first two films in the franchise, Divergent and Insurgent, performed well in the box offices. Insurgent was even filmed in 3D, which was a bit of a risk for the studio since the 3D format often felt like a gimmick and fans weren’t willing to shell out the extra bucks for the tickets.
But everything changed when the third film Allegiant hit theaters in March. Despite the success of the first two films, the third film in the franchise flopped. Allegiant’s opening weekend only garnered $29 million in the box office, which was almost a 50% drop from Insurgent. Fans of the books point to the many differences between the original Allegiant book and resulting movie as the reason for the film’s failure. Initially Lionsgate was going to copy what had been done with The Hunger Games and take a popular young-adult book trilogy and divide it into four films, but after Allegiant’s flop the studio has been rethinking their strategy.
Due to Allegiant’s poor reception, Lionsgate cut its initial budget for the final film. And as if that weren’t bad enough, the franchise lost its director. Robert Schwentke, who directed both Insurgent and Allegiant decided against returning for the final film and instead Lee Toland Krieger (Age of Adaline) was tapped to direct Ascendant.
Even though the plan is for the Divergent series to wrap up on the small screen, it’s unclear if the stars of the franchise will even be signing on for the project. No word has been released as to whether or not the stars such as Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Ansel Elgort will resume their roles in the Ascendant TV movie.
Now we will have to wait to see if and when Ascendant ever sees the light of day since Lionsgate has yet to shop the project to the networks.