Fans of the Divergent franchise and even some critics were shocked when Lionsgate revealed that the last film of the franchise, Ascendant wasn't going to hit theaters, but instead it was going to be a made for TV movie. This is an odd choice for the studio, and unprecedented for a tentpole series that was poised to be a four picture deal.
That said, on the heels of the news, Divergent star Shailene Woodley attended Comic Con, and given the big shocking news came out just a day ago, she was asked about the end of the franchise. As it turns out, the star of the Divergent series wasn't about to deflect any bad press about the upcoming news, and instead admitted that she really didn't know much about it.
Shailene Woodley Was Not Warned Ascendant Would Be a TV Movie - https://t.co/nb2wGnvnBQ pic.twitter.com/8fVDQdHll9According to Entertainment Tonight, when Woodley was asked about the TV movie, she didn't exactly know more than the press did. "I know nothing about it. I know all you know, which is I got off a plane yesterday and I was like, 'Oh, that's interesting that they decided to say that. I don't have any information."
— Screen Rant (@screenrant) July 22, 2016
Entertainment Weekly reported that Ascendant will be a TV movie. Not much was said about what network Lionsgate was taking the film to, or if the last installment will land on a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu.
"Instead of concluding with a fourth theatrical release, The Divergent Series: Ascendant, studio Lionsgate is now looking to complete the story arc with a television movie."
The #Divergent TV-movie news was a surprise to @shailenewoodley: https://t.co/8fLB8aNmbL (via @YahooMovies) pic.twitter.com/Yn6ZvhVSlLBefore the plans of the TV movie were announced, people questioned whether or not a fourth film should even be made. CinemaBlend stated the declining box office figures as evidence enough that Lionsgate needs to part with the series.
— Yahoo TV (@YahooTV) July 21, 2016
"The third Divergent film opened to roughly $29 million, which is far behind the opening-weekend numbers for the first Divergent ($54 million) and its follow up, Insurgent ($52.2M). Allegiant couldn't unseat Zootopia from the top of the box office charts, and the Disney animated movie – as good as it is – was in its third weekend."
So far the final film is in pre-production, but all signs pointed to Lionsgate going forward with plans to release the film in theaters. Months ago, the Inquisitr reported that Lionsgate vowed that Ascendant was going to be a better film, after critics wrecked Allegiant as it failed to hold onto the fan base that the built in book series managed to pull in for the first two films.
Executive Jon Feltheimer gave some careful consideration as to why the film received lackluster reviews when he was interviewed by the Wrap.
"Maybe we rushed the third movie a bit instead of taking our time with it. We wanted to hit a date."
That said, it seems like Lionsgate has smelled the coffee and realized that they just have to cut their losses and make the most of the last chapter of a franchise, that has lost its core audience. While the studio had high hopes that this film would wind up just as successful as The Hunger Games series, Divergent never reached that bar of success.
For fans who feel let down about the TV movie news, there's some promising news that may cheer up some. It's said that if this TV movie does well, a spin-off series might be in the works. Now, we don't exactly know who the spin-off series will feature, and if this will actually come to fruition, but stranger things have happened.
[Photo by Lionsgate]