So as I left on my trip, Variety dropped a bomb on the Divergent Series – that the final movie, Ascendant, which was split off from the final Allegiant novel, will instead be turned by Lionsgate into a TV movie which will lead into a spinoff TV series. No specific outlet for the movie or series was named. The move was likely spurred by the disappointing box office on Allegiant after two successful films.
This has put everything into question for the conclusion of the franchise, however. We understand that negotiations are underway, but it appears that the cast was caught by surprise by the news, with several under the assumption that they will not be involved further or even knowing anything about it beyond the Variety report.
We don’t know the specifics of the existing cast contracts, but they may not allow for a TV movie and certainly not a series. Thus every cast member they wish to retain would need to be renegotiated. This could get expensive since the actors would be in the driving seat in negotiations unless Lionsgate is willing to recast – and that could lose audience even further. Plus, a TV movie’s budget is likely going to be much more restricted, and if used as a backdoor pilot for the series, would likely have to hand the reigns over to the series cast.
This appears to show the risks involved with studios wanting franchises instead of standalone tentpole movies. After the massive successes of Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, Harry Potter, The Humger Games and all Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the resurgence of Star Wars and Star Trek, studios are looking for the Next Big Thing and making extended plans for unproven adaptations. Divergent and The Maze Runner come immediately to mind, and Warner Bros has struggled with the DC Comics universe.
Needing some time off after filming the Divergent films Insurgent and Allegiant back to back, director Robert Schwentke has decided to drop out of the final installment, Ascendant.
Ascendant was already slotted for a June 9th, 2017 release date, so Lionsgate will need to scramble to replace him.
It’s just a couple months away! Part one of the third book of the series (and sharing it’s name – part 2 will be called Ascendant), Divergent Series: Allegiant, where Tris must escape with Four and go beyond the wall enclosing Chicago. For the first time ever, they will leave the only city and family they have ever known in order to find a peaceful solution for their embroiled city. Once outside, old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless with the revelation of shocking new truths. Tris and Four must quickly decide who they can trust as a ruthless battle ignites beyond the walls of Chicago which threatens all of humanity. In order to survive, Tris will be forced to make impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.
Divergent Series: Allegiant debuts March 18th, 2016.
In theaters March 20th, 2015, with tickets going on sale Wednesday, February 25th.
As an added bonus, each advance ticket purchase transaction for Insurgent in the first 24 hours on Fandango, MovieTickets.com, AMCTheatres.com, and Cinemark.com will receive a download of the blockbuster first installment of the Divergent franchise. In addition, Lionsgate has partnered with Fandango to offer more than 50,000 additional gifts with purchase for ticket transactions with 24-hour flash sales each following week leading up to release. Prizes include downloads from the Divergent book series, exclusive tracks from the film’s soundtrack, and more.
Here is the latest trailer for Insurgent, the second in the Divergent Series starring Shailene Woodley.
In Theaters 3/20/15
Flying, burning buildings…in theaters March 20th, 2015.
Surprised? Lionsgate will be splitting the third book in Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy into two films. Lionsgate is no stranger to stretching out book-based finales – it did so with the Twilight saga’s Breaking Dawn and then again with the upcoming Hunger Games: Mockingjay. Allegiant Part 1 will keep the originally slated date of March 18th, 2016, with the conclusion on March 24, 2017.
The second installment, Insurgent, is scheduled for release on March 20, 2015.
In theaters March 21st, 2014…
Here is the first official trailer for Divergent, based on the novel by Veronica Roth. Set in a world where people are assigned to factions based on personality traits (selflessness, peacefulness, etc.), it follows Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) who at 16 on Choosing Day is classified as a “Divergent” – someone who doesn’t fit into any faction, and discovers that someone wants to eliminate all the Divergents.