Hollywood has been interested in adapting bestselling young adult book series to the big screen for many years now, though the modern trend was kicked off by the likes of Harry Potter, the Twilight Saga, and, more recently, The Hunger Games. In the wake of The Hunger Games’ popularity, a number of movie studios adapted other properties that fell into the YA sci-fi dystopian adventure genre, including The Maze Runner and Divergent. However, the latest installment of the Divergent film series, Allegiant, opened to an underwhelming box office and poor critical response.
As a result, Lionsgate cut the budget for the fourth film, Ascendent, and announced plans to complete the franchise with a TV movie – leaving room for a spinoff series to continue telling stories within the world of Divergent. But, the cast of the Divergent films have not been confirmed to return for the TV movie, and the franchise’s star, Shailene Woodley previously said she hadn’t been warned about the change from film to television prior to its announcement. Now, she offers a response to whether she’ll join the TV continuation.
In an interview with Screen Rant while promoting her new film, Snowden, Woodley was asked whether there’s been an update on Ascendant and whether she’s on board with the final Divergent film. She said:
Last I heard they were trying to make it into a television show. I didn’t sign up to be in a television show. Out of respect to the studio and everyone involved, they may have changed their mind and may be doing something different, but I’m not necessarily interested in doing a television show.
When Woodley previously commented on the news that Divergent: Ascendant would be released on TV, the actress didn’t give an answer either way about whether she’d be up to return. When fellow Divergent star Miles Teller was asked about his intention to reprise his role as Peter, he had a similar answer of holding off any decision until he found out the details of the changed project.
The actors involved in the Divergent franchise signed on for a final film that would be released in theaters, but since Lionsgate changed that plan, the actors may choose to part ways with the series. If that happens the studio would likely need to recast many of the major roles, perhaps with stars that would be up to return for the potential spinoff series. Given Woodley’s comment it seems likely she won’t return for the TV movie – though that may not be final.
Aside from Woodley and Teller’s comments, last we heard about the Divergent: Ascendant project, Lionsgate was to begin presenting the movie and potential spinoff to networks earlier this summer. With so little known about what form Ascendant will take going forward – and whether it will include stars from the movie series – it remains to be seen how exactly the studio wraps up the Divergent franchise, and/or continues it on television.
We’ll keep you updated on Divergent: Ascendant as more information becomes available.