It sounds like Shailene Woodley, the star of the first three Divergent films, is uninterested in returning to dystopian Chicago for the franchise’s televised finale.
Remember: In July, Summit decided that the final Divergent movie, then titled Ascendant, would be shot and released for television instead of going to movie theaters. The plan is to use the Divergent TV movie to launch a spinoff TV series. The decisions came after disappointing box office returns for Insurgent and Allegiant.
But that presents a big problem: The existing contracts with the stars say that the movies would be released in theaters, meaning Summit will have to draw up new agreements — and stars could back out. So will Shailene Woodley, Theo James, etc. come back?
The biggest person in the film, Tris actress Shailene Woodley, finally spoke out about it on Thursday.
“I didn’t sign up to be in a television show,” she told ScreenRant. “Out of respect to the studio and everyone in involved, they may have changed their mind and may be doing something different, but I’m not necessarily interested in doing a television show.”
Losing Woodley would be a big deal considering she’s the face of the series. And we have to imagine that if Woodley refuses to come back, many of her Divergent co-stars will follow her lead. (Right, Theo James?)
I’d argue that Summit could just throw enough money at the stars to keep them interested, but big paydays would be too risky for the studio, which is obviously hoping to crap out Ascendant on a small budget.
Which leads you to wonder, will anyone want to watch this thing without its original stars?
My guess: None of this is going to happen. There will not be a fourth movie, a TV movie, a radio special, etc. At this point, the Divergent franchise is facing so much backlash from both its fans and its stars that no one will want to be a part of this fandom anymore.
The studio messed up big time on this one, and this comes after they diverted so far off from Veronica Roth’s source material in movies two and three.