Lionsgate is taking a different approach with the fourth and final installment in the “Divergent Series” films — they’re skipping the silver screen and heading straight for TV.
During a recent interview both the CEO and TV Group Chair of Lionsgate opened up about the decision to Variety. Jon Feltheimer and Kevin Biggs both say “The Divergent Series: Ascendant” made-for-TV movie will serve as a segue into a 10 to 13 episode show. Beggs noted that their is “a tremendous fandom” for the films, though the turnout for March’s “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” was not quite what the studio had hoped for. As such, Lionsgate has been left with no choice but to go the TV route and, ultimately, it may be the best thing for the franchise.
“The performance of the last segment of the theatrical didn’t really create a situation where we could commit the production resources necessary to really make the production we need,” Beggs explained to Variety. “We got excited about the possibility of what the series could look like — resolving the novel in a season across 10 to 13 episodes and then expanding from there into multiple seasons. This is an example of what we call the virtuous cycle of content bouncing back and forth from TV and film. The economic upside on a long term series franchise is very substantial.”
It remains unclear whether the stars of the film series are interested in participating in the made-for-TV “Divergent Series” film or its subsequent television series. Many, including Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller, claim they have yet to be approached about either. On Wednesday, Teller, 29, told Variety he had not spoken to anyone connected to production — in fact, he only caught wind of the news minutes before it appeared on the publications website on July 20. Teller was unsure whether he’d participate in the project. Woodley echoed similar sentiments during an appearance at Comic-Con in San Diego, California. She told Deadline she was traveling when news broke about “The Divergent Series: Ascendant” and was flabbergasted when she landed. Woodley, 24, plays an important role in the films, and will be carefully considering the implications of participating before signing on to the movie or television series.
“I need to talk and find out what the details are,” she said.
It has been reported that bad box office turnout for “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” is a major player in the decision to switch up the format. Variety reported that the third movie’s low box office numbers were a surprise to Lionsgate. The movie, which was released March 14, brought in just $179.2 million — a major downturn compared to “Divergent” and “The Divergent Series: Insurgent.” The first film in the series raked in a whopping $288.8 million with the second increasing to $297.3 million.