Summit Entertainment’s The Divergent Series is a four-part adaption of Veronica Roth’s best-selling YA trilogy. This sci-fi action series takes place in a dystopian future where, when teenagers turn 16 they are sorted into a faction of society — Abnegation (selfless), Amity (peaceful), Candor (honest), Dauntless (brave), and Erudite (intellectual) — that will determine their place in society. The series follows the protagonist Tris (Shailene Woodley) and her love interest Four (Theo James) as they work with their friends and fight to end the government’s authoritarian rule.
The final two films are slated to hit theaters in 2016 and 2017, and have already gone through some changes. While originally titled The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Parts 1 and 2, the names were reworked to become The Divergent Series: Allegiant and The Divergent Series: Ascendant, with an aim to expand the story beyond the original source material. After directing both Insurgent and Allegiant, Robert Schwentke stepped down as director, and there is now more information about a possible new frontrunner to replace him.
According to THR, director Lee Toland Krieger is in talks to replace Schwentke for the fourth and final film in the franchise. Perhaps best known for 2015’s The Age of Adaline, he also directed Celeste & Jesse Forever. Krieger served as a writer and producer for The Vicious Kind, among others. If true, he will soon be headed to Atlanta, where all of the installments are shot, to begin filming Ascendant this summer.
It will be interesting to see if the change in director impacts the film’s critical reception or box office success. Though often compared to The Hunger Games franchise, with both films set in an oppressed dystopian version of the United States and centering around a fierce female lead, The Divergent Series has not yet managed to rise to that level of financial success. It’s possible audience fatigue could factor into this; the series first film was released in 2014, the same year that both The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and The Maze Runner hit theaters. Perhaps the later installments will fare better, as once up-and-coming talents like Woodley, Ansel Elgort (Caleb), Miles Teller (Peter), and Zoë Kravitz (Christina) are now more recognizable stars.
Assuming the final two films perform well for the studio, perhaps it is not unreasonable to think the Divergent universe could spin off into a series of interconnected films.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant will hit theaters on March 18, 2016, followed by The Divergent Series: Ascendant on March 24, 2017.