Divergent director Neil Burger on the franchises' possible move to TV
Although the DIVERGENT franchise got off to a promising start, the most recent film, THE DIVERGENT SERIES: ASCENDANT, stumbled at the box office and wound up making over $100 million less than its predecessor. Lionsgate then scrambled to figure out what to do with the dying franchise which apparently meant skipping the theater altogether and concluding the series on television. In addition to fans being upset, several of the cast, including star Shailene Woodley, expressed their disappointment in Lionsgate's decision. Neil Burger, who directed the first film, recently spoke with THR and has added his voice to the increasingly displeased chorus of DIVERGENT cast and crew.
I think it’s sad, I was just talking to the people at Lionsgate about something else recently, and it’s just that they got themselves into a difficult bind through various circumstances. … I don’t think they feel like they should’ve split [the last book] into two [films]. If they hadn’t, they would’ve been in much better shape, but at the time I’m sure they were excited and they saw some potential there.
So, splitting one story into two parts in order to make more money turned out to be a bad decision? Whaaat? Full disclosure, I'm not the biggest fan of the DIVERGENT franchise but others are and they deserve to see Tris' story play out the way it was originally intended. Lionsgate's TV project isn't a done deal just yet, but even if/when it does move ahead, it won't exactly be the end of THE DIVERGENT SERIES. Lionsgate is hoping to move from the TV movie directly into a standalone television series set in the same post-apocalyptic world. The idea is for them to finalize the storylines involving the current cast and then introduce a new cast, who would then keep the series going on either a traditional or streaming network. Neil Burger, who has spoken about the situation with several of the actors, said "it’s just too bad because I love all those actors, and they were very loyal to it. They’re still really trying to figure out what they’re gonna do with it."
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