Being the face of the once successful Divergent franchise, you’d think that Shailene Woodley would’ve been the first to know that Ascendant will likely debut on television. Woodley was totally caught off guard, however, upon learning that the final Divergent film might skip theaters.
According to Deadline, Woodley responded to the Ascendant controversy at Comic-Con. “Honestly, I was on a plane when all that happened, and I landed and I’m like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on?!’” she said. “I need to talk and find out what the details are.”
Although the Divergent book series was originally a trilogy, Lionsgate decided to split the final book into two movies. After all, two movies means double the profits, right? This backfired, though, as the third film in the franchise, Allegiant, underperformed financially. Chances are Ascendant wouldn’t do much better at the box office, which is why Lionsgate is looking to make a TV movie that might lead to a series.
This just goes to show that splitting books into two movies isn’t always a good idea. It might’ve worked out well for Harry Potter, but were there really protests in the streets for more Divergent movies? Even the final two Hunger Games movies somewhat underperformed, although Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2 did much better than Allegiant. Some franchises simply overstay their welcome quicker than others and sometimes less is more.
Flickreel actually wrote a feature about this very topic, which you can read here.