Due to a terrible box office performance, the final Divergent film, Ascendant, will be released late this year as a radio drama.
Good news and bad news, Divergent fans. The good news: Ascendant will be released earlier than expected, with a tentative release of December 2016, or January 2017. The bad news: The story of Ascendant will now play out over the radio. Yes, those things you only use in your car.
Says Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer, “Unfortunately we have to think with a business mind at this point, and cut our losses while we can. Our apologies to the few fans who would still see an Ascendant film adaptation, but it just isn’t business-savvy. Doing this thing over the radio will be much cheaper.”
Feltheimer is, of course, referring to the Divergent series’ continuing drop in box office performance and reviews. The latest installment, Allegiant, failed to take the top spot at the box office opening weekend, totaling $30 million less than the previous movie in the series, Insurgent. The lack of theatre-goers is hardly surprising however, as reviews for the film were dismal, with Allegiant receiving an 11% rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes, with only 47% of the audience liking it.
Following the low box office returns we heard reports that Ascendant‘s budget was being cut, but none of us could have anticipated this reduction would result in such a drastic shift in medium. It would seem those behind the final film don’t want to take any chances in losing millions more in this franchise.
Newly appointed director Lee Toland Krieger is still attached to the film, and is doing his best to remain positive, “Coming from a film background, of course I would have loved to direct a film adaptation. But due to factors that are out of my control, I’ll just have to do the best I can, and look at this as a new challenge and new experience. I’m looking forward to trying to finish this story in a creative way that will leave the few fans that still care satisfied.”
Added Feltheimer, “Honestly, I just want to get this over with.”
So far the entire cast is still attached to the
film radio drama, apart from Miles Teller, who plays Peter. Teller’s rep spoke on his behalf earlier this morning, stating, “Miles is currently in negotiations to back out of his contract. Whatever money he’d be getting for this project just isn’t worth the time and headache.”
Still no word from stars Shailene Woodley or Theo James on this revelation.
Veronica Roth, author of the book series the films and radio drama are based on, hasn’t been that involved in the process so far, probably to the detriment of the films. She took to Twitter to share her thoughts.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by this news. The Divergent films have suffered from too much content with too little substance over the last few years. The films have been pushed out too quickly, sacrificing quality, and fans just aren’t interested anymore. If the films had been a trilogy like the books, maybe fans wouldn’t feel so tired of the series, and maybe more time could have been spent on making these films good.
Feltheimer concludes, “A mistake was made. We just want to forget about this series, and a radio drama is the quickest way to do it.”
Do you think a Divergent film will work as a radio drama?