By Brionna Rivers
When Lionsgate’s “Divergent” first hit theaters in 2014, it was seen as the next huge young adult franchise to take the world by storm. Now, the final film, “Ascendant,“ won’t hit theaters at all. The franchise is planning to complete the current story arc with the main cast while using the film to introduce a new group of characters. They will carry on in a related spinoff television show.
Based on Veronica Roth’s best-selling series, The “Divergent” films are about a futuristic society where people are broken up into social and personality-related factions. It follows, Tris Prior, who’s labeled a “divergent”, someone who doesn’t fit into just one faction and is seen as a threat to the stability of society.
After the first two films were box office hits, Lionsgate followed the lead of films such as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and “Hunger Games: Mockingjay” by splitting the third book, “Allegient,“ into two films. The fourth and final film, “Ascendant,” was originally scheduled to debut in June 2017, but “Allegiant’s” box office performance caused them to rethink that strategy. Now they’re stuck with an unfinished series, which could hurt their aftermarket (Blu-ray, streaming) sales.
Lionsgate’s television group will handle production and Lee Toland Krieger is set to direct the film. Its not clear if stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, and others will return for the “Ascendant” television movie. If the actors don’t come, it could hurt this finale even more but if they do it would make the actors, who are all rising stars, look small.
No deals appear to have been made, and sources say that the studio has yet to pitch the project to networks.