The continued success of The Hunger Games series seemed to single-handedly launch the dystopian YA adaptation subgenre, which added this year's Divergent to its ranks. Despite middling reviews (read ours here), the first in the franchise based on the novels by Veronica Roth made a roughly $200 million worldwide profit (more or less).
It wasn't much of a surprise to hear that the sequel, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, had already been deep in development, with RED director Robert Schwentke taking over for Neil Burger. Now it appears Lionsgate is taking a cue from its Hunger Games playbook in keeping their sequel director around for awhile.
Variety reports that Insurgent director Schwentke will be returning to direct the franchise's third film, titled The Divergent Series: Allegiant - Part 1. As has become standard for the final installment of a lucrative book-based franchise, the final entry in the series, based on Roth's trilogy conclusion, will be split into two parts. Allegiant - Part 1 will arrive in theaters on March 18, 2016 with Part 2 coming the year after.
Fans of the series waiting for a proper trailer after the recent reality-defying teaser are in luck, as the film's official Twitter account has also shared the date of December 12th as something to look forward to:
Brace yourselves, Initiates… Friday 12/12. pic.twitter.com/sCGoRZv6NH
— Insurgent (@Divergent) December 5, 2014
Lionsgate seems to be happy with Schwentke's work on Insurgent, but while retaining Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence for the rest of the Hunger Games films has so far proven both financially and critically successful (for the most part), critics were decidedly brutal to Robert Schwentke's previous effort, R.I.P.D., which managed to erase much of the goodwill generated by the geriatric actioner RED.
Divergent's dystopian future society of different factions on the brink of war echoes that certain other franchise to a slightly uncomfortable degree, but Shailene Woodley's Tris has proven herself a solid lead character, and Insurgent is poised to distinguish itself as markedly different from its predecessor as a full-blown futuristic war picture. We'll know for sure just how much of an identity Schwentke has given his sequel when the full-length trailer lands.
What do you think, Screen Ranters? Are you looking forward to Insurgent?
The Divergent Series: Insurgent will open in theaters on March 20th, 2015.