ascendant tv movie

The future of the Divergent film series remains uncertain. In February, director Robert Schwentke stepped away from the franchise after helming The Divergent Series: Insurgent and The Divergent Series: Allegiant (he was replaced by Toland Krieger). A month later, Allegiant hit theaters and was a box office bomb, grossing half of what the previous film had made at the domestic box office. Unlike other YA movie franchise like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, which remained strong until the end, Divergent was out of breath on its second-to-last film.

And that’s when things got really weird: Lionsgate announced that Ascendant, the fourth and final film in the series, would be a TV movie that would act as the backdoor pilot for a new television series set in the Divergent universe. However, it seems that nobody told franchise star Shailene Woodley, and she’s now made it pretty clear that she’s not interested in starring in the made-for-TV finale.

Woodley has been making the press rounds for Snowden (where she plays Lindsay Mills, the girlfriend of the infamous NSA whistleblower) and she was pretty upfront about her feelings on Divergent‘s move to television in an interview with Screenrant:

I didn’t sign up to be in a television show. 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.

Frankly, this whole situation is ugly. For Lionsgate, it’s ugly because they had to watch a successful film franchise implode before their very eyes and now they have to sort through the rubble and figure out what to do next now that the audiences have spoken. The actors themselves are caught between a rock and a hard place – do you finish things up or do you say thanks-but-no-thanks to the downgrade? One lingering question is whether or not the cast, who were signed on for multiple films, could be roped into the television finale. Co-star Miles Teller discussed this with Variety last month:

When we all signed on for the first one we had every intention of finishing it theatrically. We signed on for x amount of movies and you take that all into consideration. We wanted to see that storyline finish. You know, it’s moving into a different format. So who knows?

Teller also revealed that he and other members of the cast were only told about these plans minutes before they were revealed in the press, so yeah, they have every reason to be deeply unhappy about this. Woodley, who has consistently been the best part of the Divergent movies, shouldn’t have to learn about the future of her flagship character from the internet.

Before all of this went down, Ascendant was set for a June 9, 2017 release date. It remains to be seen when this potential TV version will be aired.

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