Prepare to scream, Veronica Roth fans: Ascendant is (most likely) coming to Starz.
In an exclusive provided by Deadline, it’s been stated that Starz is in talks of producing a small screen drama series based on Roth’s YA franchise under the Summit/Lionsgate umbrella, TV Editor Nellie Andreeva reports. In addition, The Legend of Tarzan screenwriter Adam Cozad will draft the script and executive produce the project alongside Lee Toland Krieger (The Age of Adaline), both of whom were initially listed to prepare Ascendant for a film when it was still in deliberation.
If you can recall, back in January, Lionsgate decided to pull out of the final film installment due to the box office blunder with last year’s Allegiant in March 2016, which only grossed $66.2 million. Still, the fate of the closing chapter of Roth’s The Divergent Series had not yet been determined with rumors of the film’s big switch to the small screen being circulated as early as July 2016.
At the time of the announcement, the franchise’s leading stars, Shailene Woodley and Theo James, had spoken out against the alleged television spinoff, respectively. According to Deadline, there are no tangible details that suggest the film’s original stars will appear in the small screen adaptation, but Lionsgate is said to be courting new talent as a possibility to wrap up the story.
If I can be honest here, I think it’s safe to say the hype around Divergent has died. It’s been dead for well over a year now, and I don’t think fans are even anticipating the final installment. As a consumer and avid follower of the series, I’ve forgotten all about Divergent altogether. I’m certain everyone else has too. Timing is everything, but that threat of a switch to TV only a few months after its release is what really thwarted everyone’s interest.
Not to mention, Shailene and Theo have supposedly backed out of the project already, which means the appeal and personal interest are gone. Those are the faces watchers have come to love and remember, and if you are willing to exchange them at the expense of penny-pinching, then Allegiant is going to be an even bigger upset at Starz than Lionsgate thinks. It’s early, but I’m calling it.
Plus, the Divergent films are not arresting enough that watchers will want to dedicate their time to a series. It’s nothing more than a one-trick spectacle filled with intrigue, mystery and some moral exploration; there was hardly even any action in Allegiant. That said, this project deserves one last 90-minute production, on the big screen, and that’s it. I don’t think even the most committed fans will be interested in having to go episode after episode to get the final story when they’ve grown accustomed to seeing the other three stories on the silver screen.
It’s another mistake in the making if you ask me.