Whenever a film series connects with audiences, the next logical step -- from a business perspective, of course -- is to extend that franchise out beyond its natural conclusion. In the case of cinematic adaptations of young adult novels, this can be tricky, since there's typically a finite number of books on which to draw inspiration.
However, thanks to the Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games franchises, the go-to approach has simply been to give the final book in each series the Kill Bill treatment and split the narrative into two separate films. The Divergent series was the most recent example to make such an announcement, with last year's Insurgent to be followed by The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Parts 1 and 2. However, now it appears that Summit Entertainment is adjusting their course of action regarding the last two films, at least somewhat.
Courtesy of MTV News, we have received word that the final installments will now be titled The Divergent Series: Allegiant and The Divergent Series: Ascendant when they hit theaters in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Despite that change, both films will reportedly still be mostly based on Veronica Roth's Allegiant novel but will expand the story somehow. No details on exactly how the plot will be altered or further developed than what was in the series' final book. Moreover, we have our first look at the logos for both films, via the below teaser posters.
Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy previously expanded upon its source material, but unlike that J.R.R. Tolkien story, the Divergent books don't have tons of appendices and supplementary material to warrant adding much new material to the story. Furthermore, the tagline for Ascendant implies that even fans might not be able to guess where Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) will wind up before the credits roll.
Regardless of how the story might diverge (pun intended) from the novels, the retitling is a smart move from a branding standpoint. After all, even the most stalwart fans can take issue with splitting a final book into what typically results in an overlong affair that dilutes what could have been the strongest chapter in a given series. Changing the title of that last film -- in theory, at least -- might go a long way towards avoiding that backlash.
Are you happy with the title change for the last two Divergent films? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant will hit theaters on March 18, 2016, followed by The Divergent Series: Ascendant on March 24, 2017.
Source: MTV News