The move comes two months after Lionsgate decided to move the fourth film — “The Divergent Series: Ascendant” back from March 24, 2017 to June 9, 2017. That opened the spring break date for its “Power Rangers” movie.
The third film in the Woodley franchise, “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” is scheduled to open on March 18. The first two films — “Divergent” and “Insurgent” — have grossed nearly $600 million worldwide after opening in the late March slot.
Neil Burger directed the first film, “Divergent,” and decided not to do the second before the first film opened.
Lionsgate had no comment on Schwentke’s departure. A source close to the production said that the director, who is based in Los Angeles, felt that he needed a break.
The shoot on the fourth film will take place in Atlanta this summer.
At the end of the second film, Woodley’s character Tris learned she had been part of an experiment to heal the post-apocalyptic Earth.
Lionsgate did not have a deal in place with Schwentke for him to direct “Ascendant” but it’s understood that he could have done so had chosen to.
Schwentke also directed “Red” for Lionsgate along with “R.I.P.D.,” “Flightplan” and “The Time Traveller’s Wife.” He’s repped by CAA.
The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.