The fourth movie in the Divergent series is headed straight to television. The Lionsgate film, titled Ascendant, is now a TV only release. The plan is to create a full-blown television series based in the Divergent universe. The first two movies Divergent and Insurgent experienced box office success (each grossing close to $300 million worldwide). The third film, Allegiant, cost as much or more than the others to make. However, it made much less, not even crossing the seven-figure threshold domestically.
Ascendant had been scheduled for a June 2017 release in theaters, pitting the new film up against many big blockbuster summer hits including the remake of The Mummy starring Tom Cruise (yes that is happening). It makes sense that the people behind the product see the potential windfall that could occur if another film fell flat. They risk any potential future for the series. Releasing the film on television allows for a less costly product while setting up a connection with a TV audience.
The main cast will be affected most from this announcement. The main characters were played by Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) and Theo James (Underworld: Awakening). Even if they appear, they will be used to pass the torch to the cast of the TV series. With a bustling schedule of upcoming movie roles and the TV series Big Little Lies, it is very unlikely that Woodley would be used in the series. James’ character, Tobias Eaton, might be more likely to continue though Fans of the film series might have trouble seeing him without Woodley’s character of Beatrice Prior. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news.
The Divergent series is based on the best-selling novels by Veronica Roth.