In what can only be described as a surprising turn of events, Lionsgate has opted to skip a theatrical release of its final Divergent film, and instead release it as a TV-movie — before launching a small-screen spinoff series.
As first reported by our sister site Variety, the decision comes after disappointing box office results/critical reaction for the third installment of the franchise, Allegiant, which opened to a lackluster $29 million in March — a 44 percent drop from 2015 release Insurgent.
Though negotiations are still ongoing, Lionsgate intends to use the fourth film, Ascendant, as a means to launch a standalone TV series that would focus on a new set of characters in the Divergent universe. It is unclear whether film stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Ansel Elgort will appear in Ascendant following this development. Principal photography was originally intended to begin this summer with an eye on a June 2017 release, but has since been delayed following Allegiant‘s poor performance.
Thoughts on Lionsgate’s decision to move Ascendant‘s release to the small-screen? And will a TV spinoff do well if the Divergent franchise is already struggling?