The Divergent cast members were reportedly blindsided when Lionsgate expressed its plan to release the final film as a television movie. Should the repositioning come into fruition, it is expected that some of the film franchise’s stars, including Theo James and Shailene Woodley, will drop out of the project. Miles Teller told Hollywood Reporter their side.
“We all signed on for it in hopes that it’d be released in theaters, and we all had every intention of finishing [the franchise]. It caught us all by surprise.”
Apart from the possibility of being released as a TV movie, the final film might also get its own spinoff series. Teller is now unsure if he will reprise his role because “at this point, it’s a different set of circumstances.”
The Divergent actor also hinted that the Lionsgate idea might mess up the dystopian film’s finale. “Things do change anytime they’re messing with something that was not the original intention,” he said.
Teller emphasized that everyone in the film franchise had a good time working.
“I’m not kidding when I say that you won’t find a single actor who worked in that franchise who would have anything bad to say about that experience. It’s all good. I’ve got nothing but love for everybody I’ve worked with on that franchise.”
The final Divergent film was originally slated for a June 2017 release. However, the franchise’s most recent installment, Allegiant, failed to match the box office earnings of its predecessors.
Lionsgate executive Jon Feltheimer previously told Cinema Blend that the studio rushed the film, which resulted in a lackluster output.
“Maybe we rushed the third movie a bit instead of taking our time with it. We wanted to hit a date.”
What happened to Allegiant served as a lesson for Lionsgate. Feltheimer said that they were inspired to strive harder for their future film franchises like the Power Rangers.
However, it will be a gamble if Lionsgate will push through with its plan to change the platform of the Ascendant. Even if Allegiant failed to impress, fans are still waiting for the final part of the franchise because they will finally see if Theo and Shailene’s characters will get their happy ending.
One representative of the stars claim that while there are no negotiations done yet, Lionsgate should think again if “they think they can skimp on actors’ opinions.”
Variety reports that the studio is planning a TV movie as well as a series with 10 to 13 episodes for its first season. The first will be followed by multiple seasons because according to TV Group Chair Kevin Beggs, “there’s a tremendous fandom.”
“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.”
Lionsgate will soon approach 12 networks that might be interested to pick up the Divergent series.
Author Veronica Roth has not yet spoken about the studio’s decision. For fans, the plan isn’t a great move especially if the original cast won’t sign up. Some think that the TV series will be quickly axed if the original cast members won’t be on board.
There are fans who wish that Lionsgate simply created a single film for the final book instead of splitting it into two installments. They accuse Lionsgate of trying to copy what Harry Potter did for its finale.
Will you still support Ascendant if the studio change its medium?
[Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]