The Divergent series is going in a new direction. Lionsgate has announced plans to wrap up the franchise with a TV movie followed by a spinoff television series, instead of the planned theatrical release.
Each Divergent film has made less and less money at the box office, culminating in the third film, Allegiant’s, disappointing $29 million debut. This was down 44 percent from the second film, Insurgent’s, opening at $52.3 million.
Lionsgate made the decision to split the final book in Veronica Roth’s successful Divergent series into a two-part movie, but it seems the decision has backfired. The studio also chose to film the two parts separately instead of together. Most franchises, including Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games, filmed their final films together in order to save money on production.
Despite the series’ diminishing returns, Lionsgate wishes to wrap up the story. The fourth film, titled Ascendant, was originally planned to begin filming in Atlanta this summer with a theatrical debut next summer in 2017. Ascendant will instead premiere on the small screen. The film would be set up for a standalone TV series that would be set in the same universe, handled by Lionsgate’s television group.
While the idea is still in negotiations with no set plans, Age of Adaline director Lee Toland Krieger is in talks to direct. Variety, who broke the story, says, “the idea is to finalize the storylines involving the current cast and to introduce a new cast, who would then continue the series on either a traditional or streaming network.” However, it is unknown if any of the movie’s cast, such as Shailene Woodley or Theo James, will return for the film.
Lionsgate has been discussing a Divergent spin-off since 2015, as well as potential spin-offs of The Hunger Games, which recently wrapped up their film series.