In a turn of events, it seems like Lionsgate has reconsidered their decision to wrap the Divergent franchise up with a fourth film. Instead, if Variety’s sources are correct, Lionsgate has chosen to end the series with a television movie and spin-off series.
Clearly, some Divergent fans may find this news surprising, but the studio’s actions aren't all that shocking. Instead of having The Divergent Series: Ascendant debut in theaters, which would be a costly endeavor, a television film would prevent Lionsgate from losing any more money on the franchise. After all, Allegiant flopped pretty hard in theaters last Spring considering the big-budget project only raked in $29 million.
Obviously, Lionsgate feels certain that Ascendant wouldn’t earn enough money to make its theatrical release profitable. However, the franchise isn't a total bust, and it would definitely be worth Lionsgate's time to end the series with enough wiggle room for small-screen franchise.
Variety is reporting that Lionsgate’s TV group will oversee the final Divergent production. With the franchise’s future in mind, Lionsgate will likely tie-up the previous film’s loose ends and introduce a new crew of characters who could be transferred to an original Divergent TV series. Currently, it’s not clear if the films’ original cast like Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, and more will return for the TV film.
And, as of yet, no deals have been made on Lionsgate’s part to air the planned project on any particular channel. Unsurprisingly, Lionsgate is keeping mum about their plans and declined to comment on Variety’s findings.
Fans are already taking to the Internet to discuss these new plans as some are trying to rationalize the studio’s decision. With Hollywood’s box office still suffering from waning ticket sales, some fans believe it was Lionsgate’s decision to split the last Divergent film into two parts that has ruined the series. Others, well, they’re shoving blame onto the Divergent books themselves, claiming the final book's bitter ending put off fans from watching Allegiant.
Either way, for now, it seems like the Divergent finale will be heading straight-to-TV and skipping a red carpet premiere. What do you all think about the changes? Are any of you gutted to see the franchise come to a quiet end?