The Divergent franchise once promised to launch Shailene Woodley to fame in much the same way that The Hunger Games has done for Jennifer Lawrence, but that was before the latest film in the franchise, 2016’s Allegiant, was so poorly received by both film critics and fans. No longer interested in pursuing the Divergent franchise on the big screen, Lionsgate has set their sights more modestly with plans to deliver the next Divergent sequel as a TV movie and possibly adapt the story as a spin-off television series. Previously, Divergent stars have voiced their objection to Lionsgate’s new direction and now Shailene Woodley shares her thoughts.
Divergent Star Shailene Woodley Objects To The New Plans
MTV reports that Shailene is just the latest in a growing number of Divergent franchise stars objecting to the new plans for bringing the franchise to television, instead of seeing it through to the end with a final film. The Divergent Series: Ascendant, now a TV movie, was originally intended to be the final theatrical film for the franchise, but the plans to use its story to branch out as a television series has stirred strong reactions from the cast.
Joining her co-stars Miles Teller and Ansel Elgort, Woodley is now expressing a strong distaste for the idea, and if Lionsgate pursues plans for a television series, it will most probably be without Shailene.
“I didn’t sign up to be in a television show,” Shailene said. “Out of respect to the studio and everyone in involved, they may have changed their mind and may be doing something different, but I’m not necessarily interested in doing a television show.”
In July, Elgort and Teller revealed plans not to return for the TV movie or the potential series, saying that they had really enjoyed working with the Divergent cast and crew, but that they weren’t interested in the new small screen plans for the Divergent franchise. In fact, none of the main Divergent cast has signed on to appear in the TV movie.
Divergent Star Shailene Woodley Has A New Passion
Opting out of the next adaptation of the Divergent story may leave Shailene free to explore a new passion in her life. CNN reports that Woodley has joined fellow actresses Susan Sarandon and Rosario Dawson, as well as thousands of former Bernie Sanders supporters, in taking a stance against the Bakken pipeline, also known as the Dakota Access pipeline. Woodley joined the group for a protest at the Democratic National Convention and continues to fight for the stalling of plans for the pipeline.
In a speech at Washington, D.C., Woodley condemned the Democratic Party for hypocrisy in their stance on the Dakota Access pipeline issue. Shailene says that, while the party claims to support environmental issues, their policies suggest otherwise.
“Bernie Sanders was the only presidential candidate who said we have to do something about fracking now,” Woodley said. “We have to do something about piplelines now. We have to do something about climate change now.”
Speaking at a rally last month, Shailene said the pipeline poses an imminent threat to the environment, area wildlife, and to area residents.
“When the pipeline breaks because all pipelines break, a large amount of crude oil would spill into the Missouri River and sacrifice not only the water of the people living on Standing Rock reservation,” Woodley said, “but it would also compromise the water of 18 million people in our country who depend on the Missouri (River) for tap water, for drinking water, for shower water.”
Shailene added that access to clean water is no longer a right in America, going on to explain that fracking and lead poisoning limits access to clean, drinkable water in many areas. She says she lives a privileged life, because she can get access to untainted water.
Woodley added that issues like fracking and clean water have drawn her to speak publicly about her political views, something she would never have considered previously. Recognizing the danger the Dakota Access pipeline represents has spurred Woodley to action.
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]