Miles Teller has officially opted out of the Allegiant TV movie. The Divergent franchise has taken a steep dive since Teller first joined in 2014 as Peter, a sometimes-villain, sometimes-ally with a quick temper. Based on Veronica Roth’s dystopian book series, the Divergent franchise was originally designed to replicate the financial success of similar YA adaptations like Twilight and The Hunger Games, but faltered in its later years. The last installment, 2016’s Allegiant, drew in only $179 million against a $142 million budget.
Its underwhelming performance caused Lionsgate to rethink its approach to the fourth and final movie, Ascendent, which was originally planned for theatrical release in June 2017. Instead, they decided they would continue the property on the small screen with a TV movie that would then segue into a spinoff show. The movie’s cast were taken aback by the announcement, and it’s become increasingly apparent that a good majority of them won’t make the transition to TV. Star Shailene Woodley passed back in February, and Teller has been vocal that he wasn’t sure if he would return. Now, he’s confirmed that he won’t be back.
During an interview to promote his true story drama Only the Brave, Teller told Screen Rant that the Allegiant TV movie simply wasn’t in the cards for him. “No, I’m not doing that. Just that’s not happening for me,” he said. Instead, he will next turn his attention to Too Old To Die Young, his upcoming Amazon crime series with Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn, and animated film titled The Ark and The Aardvark, in which he will voice main character Gilbert.
Teller’s departure from the franchise shouldn’t come as a surprise. When the first Divergent movie hit theaters, he told W Magazine that it made him feel “dead inside,” and that he had only taken the role for “business reasons.” He later backtracked slightly in an interview with THR, praising his experience on set – but given that it came after news of the TV movie broke, it felt a little like an empty write-off.
Teller has also since become a veritable movie star, and frankly, it wouldn’t make sense for him to continue with a failing franchise, especially now that it won’t be in theaters. When Teller first boarded Divergent, he was a rising indie darling fresh off roles in Project X and The Spectacular Now (also with Woodley), and the series helped introduce him to international audiences. Now, he’s had starring turns in major titles like Whiplash, Fantastic Four, and Bleed For This. To put it bluntly: He’s outgrown Divergent, and his focus is better served elsewhere.
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