The Divergent Series: Ascendant Will Skip Theatrical Release and Debut on TV

Posted by at 12:43 pm on July 21, 2016

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Variety reports that the final chapter in The Divergent Series, subtitled Ascendant, will forgo its previously-announced theatrical release (set for June 9, 2017) and instead will debut as television movie before spinning off into a series. Negotiations for the plans are still ongoing and it is not clear if stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, and others will return for the Ascendant television movie.

The outlet notes Lionsgate’s TV division will handle production of the spin-off series, which is likely to star an all-new cast of characters. Whether its television home will be on a traditional channel or a streaming network also remains to be seen. According to Variety, the storylines involving the feature cast would be finalized with the TV movie, which would also introduce the new cast that would then continue on the series.

Based on author Veronica Roth’s New York Times best-seller, The Divergent Series: Allegiant is set to be directed by Lee Toland Krieger (Celeste & Jesse Forever, The Age of Adaline). The blockbuster action adventure franchise has starred Golden Globe nominee Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, and the Oscar-nominated Naomi Watts. Golden Globe-nominated actor Jeff Daniels also joined the ensemble cast for the third film in the franchise, joining a cast that includes Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Keiynan Lonsdale and Jonny Weston, as well as Mekhi Phifer and Daniel Dae Kim.

The Divergent series of books have been perennial New York Times best-sellers since 2011. Book sales of the Divergent trilogy have surged to over 34 million copies worldwide, up from 17 million at the time of Divergent’s March 21, 2014 release. “Allegiant” sold 455,000 copies on its first day of release in 2013 to break a company record for Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins Publishers. Pre-orders for “Allegiant” exceeded those of any book in the history of HarperCollins.

The three Divergent films have grossed more than $765 million at the global box office and are among Lionsgate’s highest-grossing films domestically outside The Hunger Games and Twilight franchises.

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