Back in July, it was announced that the final film in the Divergent series, Ascendant, wouldn’t receive the summer 2017 theatrical sendoff it was initially promised. Instead, the movie (yet to be filmed) would be heading to the smaller screen, debuting on television before segueing into a new spinoff series with a new cast. According to Lionsgate, that’s still the plan, and execs have begun to speak out.
Trying to be as tactful as possible, Lionsgate TV Group Chair Kevin Beggs stated that “the performance of the last segment of the theatrical didn’t really create a situation where we could commit the production resources necessary” to make a new film. However, he revealed more about what we could expect from this series, expanding:
We got excited about the possibility of what the series could look like — resolving the novel in a season across 10 to 13 episodes and then expanding from there into multiple seasons.
The half-season episode load is probably a smart idea if the studio wants to gauge fan reaction before investing further, however, they may want to release the TV movie first before taking those next steps. Beggs did note that the Divergent fandom is “tremendous”, so it seems they are confident in their plan.
Following the news of Ascendant‘s switch to TV, franchise star Shailene Woodley summed up all of our reactions accurately by saying “Whoa, what’s going on?!” The actress did not state whether she would resume the role of Tris and mentioned she did not know any details about the new project. Fellow actor Miles Teller was equally unsure of his involvement, stating that he’s “talked to nobody” and that at the outset of the series “we had every intention of finishing it theatrically.”