The third film based off Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, Allegiant, only brought in $66 million domestically. Now Lionsgate appears to be scrambling to find a new way to package the rest of a series that never quite took off.
It’s not surprising that producers thought that the third novel could be split in two films, as that has been a successful strategy for franchises like Harry Potter and the Hunger Games. But this particular dystopian universe has not appealed to moviegoers to the same degree. Part 2 of Allegiant, dubbed Ascendent, is being moved from the big screen, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
This all seems to be mostly affecting actors who had options with Lionsgate, and not just the stars. THR quoted at least one rep having a rage stroke, who said, “They haven’t come to us to discuss deals, but if they think they can skimp on actors’ options, they can think again.”
The news is something of a shock, which means it has not been confirmed that all performers are interested in a TV movie and potential series spin-off. Shailene Woodley is doing a series called Big Little Lies for HBO, but given that that’s HBO, we know that’s fancy. Downgrading the Divergent series to TV could mean it will look a lot more like a CW teen drama (which some could argue it already did).
No word on whether or not Ellie Shechet’s nemesis or the James Franco look-a-like will be returning for the series.