Do a search on our site for “The Divergent Series” and you will find a couple of reviews. What you should notice about these reviews is that they get increasingly more negative with each installment of the YA franchise, and you actually won’t find more than two of them. The reason for this is that after the second film, I just couldn’t bring myself to slog through another chapter of this increasingly ridiculous franchise. And it appears that I wasn’t the only one, for while Divergent was a huge box office success, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, was less profitable and The Divergent Series: Allegiant was a complete dud.
So how does Lionsgate plan to prevent the final installment in the franchise, The Divergent Series: Ascendant, from becoming a total bomb when it releases at the box office? Simple: They won’t.
According to a report from Variety, Lionsgate is skipping the theatrical release of Ascendant completely, and will instead be releasing it as a TV movie to be directed by Age of Adaline‘s Lee Toland Krieger. Ascendant was originally set to start production round about now and was scheduled to release in June 2017, where it would have had to compete with The Mummy and World War Z 2. However after Allegiant weak reception, they’ve now rethought their plans.
There’s no word given on when this TV movie will debut, as Lionsgate still need to finalize how the story will play out. In an interesting twist, this movie is then being used to setup a spinoff TV series. According to Variety, a new group of characters will be introduced in the TV movie who will then continue on the story in this world via the TV series.
It’s also uncertain if this series will debut on either traditional TV or a streaming service, as Lionsgate is yet to actually pitch it to the TV networks. On top of which, it has to be pointed out that according to Variety’s sources, it’s uncertain if the franchises original stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Zoe Kravitz, etc will actually return for the TV movie. I would be expecting that they would, just to at least wrap up their portion of the story, but weirder things have happened in Hollywood.
UPDATE: And weirder things have officially happened. Since the time of writing, it’s been revealed by Deadline that Shailene Woodley found out about all of this at the same time we did.
“Honestly, I was on a plane when all that happened and I landed, and I’m like Whoa, what’s going on?! I need to talk and find out what the details are.”
You can take this latest twist as evidence for one of three scenarios: 1) the original story is complete bunkum, or 2) Lionsgate didn’t even chat to Woodley because they’re considering doing this without her, or 3) this is all one big miscommunication. I’m guessing we’ll find out soon enough.
Are you a fan of the Divergent franchise? If so, what do you think of this plan?
Last Updated: July 22, 2016