The Divergent Series: Ascendant will go straight to TV

The Divergent Series: Allegiant

by James White |
Published on
The Divergent Series: Allegiant

Though the franchise never quite turned into a Hunger Games-style sensation, the Divergent films had been turning a solid profit until this year's Allegiant, which flopped. Now the fallout of that financial disappointment is being felt – according to Variety, Lionsgate has decided to turn the final film, known as Ascendant, into a TV movie.

It's an unorthodox step, especially for a film series that was launched with much ballyhoo and talked up as another Twilight. While it helped boost the profile of star Shailene Woodley, it never quite took off. Now the plan is apparently to make the TV movie, then use that to spin off a stand-alone TV series that is set in the same post-apocalyptic world.

The tale of a futuristic Chicago with a society divided into factions is based on Veronica Roth's trilogy, and the third, Allegiant, had been planned as two movies, this year's Allegiant and then Ascendant, taking aim at a 2017 release with Lee Toland Krieger attached to direct.

Still, there could be a stumbling block with even this version, as the cast's deals are for a film. There will be some furious re-negotiation of contracts and a chance that some of the actors won't make the switch. It's not a situation that has generally occurred: the closest recent example is the Mortal Instruments franchise, which proved a damp squib of a movie but has proved to have better luck on TV. Where Divergent and its story might end up is anyone's guess at this point, but that will be worked out in due course.

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