When Divergent grossed an impressive $150 million domestically, Lionsgate must have thought the YA adaptation was poised to become the next Hunger Games – and with three additional films in the pipeline, the studio was obviously expecting those dollars to keep rolling in. The first sequel couldn’t even muster the same performance as its predecessor, topping out at only $130 million (although to be fair, its worldwide gross exceeded the original film).
But when the most recent installment, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, finished its domestic run with a paltry $66 million – less than half of the previous film – Lionsgate execs began exploring some additional options for the future of the franchise. The fourth and final film, Ascendant, was originally scheduled to hit theaters next summer, but we learned back in July that the finale would be retooled as a made-for-TV movie that would also serve as a backdoor pilot for a spinoff series.
Not it looks like the Divergent story will be wrapping up without its heroine, as franchise star Shailene Woodley recently told ScreenRant that she’s not really feeling this one:
“Last I heard they were trying to make it into a television show. I didn’t sign up to be in a television show. Out of respect to the studio and everyone involved, they may have changed their mind and may be doing something different, but I’m not necessarily interested in doing a television show.”
These comments seem to echo sentiments from her fellow castmates, including Ansel Elgort and Miles Teller, who spoke to Variety while making the rounds for War Dogs and seemed to indicate he was no longer attached to the project at all:
“When we all signed on for the first one we had every intention of finishing it theatrically. We signed on for x amount of movies and you take that all into consideration. We wanted to see that storyline finish… We all really enjoyed that time we spent together and those characters.”
The only member of the principal cast who hasn’t weighed in yet is Theo James, but with Woodley, Elgort and Teller all stepping away, it seems doubtful that he would remain onboard. And will anyone really be interested in finishing the story without the stars of the past three films? Maybe it’s not too late for Lionsgate to retool a few things and put together a big-screen finale with a smaller production budget.
We’ll keep you posted on the fate of The Divergent Series: Ascendant as more information becomes available.
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