To Be or Not to Be: What’s Up With ‘The Divergent Series: Ascendant’?

ascendant movie cancelled we can be mended epilogue veronica rothLionsgate

UPDATE (August 8, 2017): As of earlier this month, it has been announced that Ascendant has been optioned for a (possible) TV series at Starz via Lionsgate, according to Deadline. Learn more about the fate of the final installment here!

For a long time now, fans of the Divergent series have been waiting in limbo to learn what will become of the final installment of the franchise, Ascendant. Needless to say, it doesn’t look so good, you guys.

According to Movie News Guide, Lionsgate has already nixed Ascendant’s final film due to the poor profits made with last year’s Allegiant, which grossed merely half of what Insurgent did the year before. Instead, the studio is opting to scale things down with a television movie. This decision came as a shock to many of the actors who have appeared in the previous Divergent films, and further reports suggest it was done without their knowing and that Lionsgate is supposedly bartering the cast take pay cuts to go through with the TV movie.

Yeah, good luck with that.

As expected, fans nor cast mates were thrilled by the news or the sudden change in the franchise’s direction. In fact, there seems to be a big chance that many of the leading stars of the series will not return if Lionsgate does decide to go through with it.

In September 2016, the Divergent series’ own poster woman, Shailene Woodley, hinted at her own potential departure from the final film (for lack of a better term) if it does get reworked for television. “From what I know, they want to proceed with a television show, which is not something that I signed up to do,” Woodley told E! News. “Out of respect to the whole scenario, there could be things that have changed, but I didn’t sign up to do a TV show.”

divergent ascendant movie reportedly cancelled veronica roth we can be mended

When asked by Willie Geist if she’d be up for doing the fourth film, Woodley answered, “Well, I mean, if it’s a [theatrical] movie.” “They haven’t finalized any decisions, so it’s actually a moot point to talk about it now, out of respect to Lionsgate and to everyone involved. I’m not exactly sure where they stand, so we’re kind of all in a limbo waiting game.”

Another familiar face to possibly bow out is Theo James, better known as “Four” in the Divergent films. In an interview with TooFab in December 2016, James spoke to the unlikeliness of whether he or his co-stars would return to wrap up the franchise in TV movie format:

“I think it’s a shame that we can’t finish the story, but I think it’s evolving in a place where the actors that have been in the three movies probably won’t be in whatever it evolves to in the future.”

While I can totally see the rationale behind their decision, the fact that they’re only considering the numbers and not their audience is a bit ridiculous. Not to mention, Lionsgate has already invested their time and money into four films, so to take such a drastic change, of course, this late in the game because of a profit deficit is not going to roll over well with anyone at all.

So what does Veronica Roth has to say about all this? (Warning: Things are going to be spoiler-y!)

The author the hailed series is hoping to quell all the confusion and chaos by gifting an epilog for fans of the Divergent trilogy. On December 1, 2016, Roth issued a statement on Twitter announcing the release of We Can Be Mended, an afterword on Four’s life after Tris’s unlikely death.

“I’ve always said that the Divergent series felt complete to me, but a little while ago I realized there was still some of the story that I had left untold,” Roth said in a video she posted on Twitter. “So I wrote something just for myself about what Tobias had been up to.”

But like most all good things, We Can Be Mended comes with a catch—and a pretty penny! In order to receive a copy of the epilog, fans will have to pre-order Roth’s latest sci-fi thriller Carve the Mark, which hits the market on January 17, 2017.

What does this have to do with the fate of the final installment of Roth’s series, you ask? Oh, absolutely nothing is all! So there you have it, folks. We’re still up in the air as to what the eff will become of the final installment of the franchise.

Divergent fans, we want to hear from you!

Will you be watching Ascendant if it becomes a TV movie?
Will you pre-order Carve the Mark to get a copy of We Can Be Mended?! We want to know!
Paris Close
the authorParis Close
Founding Editor. Give me Gillian Flynn or give me death.