The “Divergent Series” films are coming to a close and Lionsgate, the studio tasked with creating the action-packet sci-fi movies, is taking a different approach the fourth time around.
According to Variety, “The Divergent Series: Ascendant” will not open in theaters. Lionsgate plans to release the final film on TV. A source close to production told the publication that “Ascendant” will serve as a segue into a television series. While Lionsgate has not revealed any further reasoning behind their decision, Variety notes that “The Divergent Series: Allegiant,” the third installment of four, hit theaters with a surprisingly low turnout at the box office. The movie, which came out March 14, 2016, brought in just $179.2 million— a shock after the success of both “Divergent” and “The Divergent Series: Insurgent.” The first film raked in $288.8 million while the second grabbed $297.3 million worldwide.
“The Divergent Series: Ascendant” was initially scheduled to hit theaters in June 2017, competing with “World War Z 2” and a remake of the original “The Mummy” movie. Filming would have begun this summer, but Lionsgate has since switched up their plans, handing off production to Lionsgate’s television group.
In September 2015 it was announced that the “Divergent” movies would not follow in the footsteps of “The Hunger Games,” giving the films “Part 1” and “Part 2” titles. MTV News reported that instead, the third and fourth movies in the successful franchise would be called “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” and “The Divergent Series: Ascendant.” The last installment was expected to be released on March 24, 2017. It was later pushed back to June 2017. At present it is unknown when “The Divergent Series: Ascendant” will premiere.
Veronica Roth, the creator of the “Divergent Series” addressed the title changes on her Tumblr. She told fans “there are going to be some changes,” but added that she was not yet clear on what exactly those changes would be. Roth went on to say that she was certain it would make fans of the books wary, but she had high hopes for how Lionsgate would approach them.
“I know changes always make fans of the books — and the author! — nervous, but hopefully the character we know (and love. Or sometimes love to hate?) will still be intact, which is really the important thing,” she wrote. “I am eager to see how these movies turn out, along with you guys.”