The Divergent series has gone from forgettable imitator to dubious disaster. Last month, we reported that rather than have the final entry in the series wrap up in theaters, Lionsgate was now sending it to TV and using that as a springboard for a spinoff series because when audiences say that they didn’t like your first three movies, what they’re really saying is, “Please give me a TV series that will run at least 10 hours.”
Lionsgate remains bullish on Divergent going forward as a TV show even though none of the actors have signed on to return (and they’ll likely pass as they would have to lower their asking price down to TV levels, which would hurt their salaries in the long run; Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and now Miles Teller have all been ambivalent on the prospect of returning). “When we all signed on for the first one we had every intention of finishing it theatrically,” Teller told Variety. “We signed on for x amount of movies and you take that all into consideration. We wanted to see that storyline finish. You know, it’s moving into a different format. So who knows?”
According to Deadline, “Lionsgate will begin to present about 12 interested networks with the opportunity to pick up the series.” It’s also possible the series could go to Starz, which was recently acquired by Lionsgate for $4.4 billion. Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs says they’re excited about “resolving the novel in a season across 10 to 13 episodes and then expanding from there into multiple seasons.” So it looks like the plan for a TV movie could be off the table entirely.
But the question remains: do people really want more of the Divergent series? People didn’t skip out on Allegiant because staying home was more comfortable. They skipped Allegiant because Insurgent wasn’t that great of a movie, fans of the books universally pan Allegiant, and no one is interested anymore. It’s become clear that the Divergent series isn’t the successor to The Hunger Games franchise; it’s the failed imitator that’s trying to find a last gasp of success on television.
And hey, maybe one of those 12 networks will bite and be willing to not only fund a TV movie and/or single season that finishes out the Divergent movies (again, it’s unclear how to do this if you can’t get any of the cast back), but also continue the story with a spinoff series. But if they think Divergent is really worth that much, they haven’t been paying attention to its box office receipts or how it’s completely failed to capture even a modicum of the public’s attention.