CEO Jon Feltheimer and TV Group Chair Kevin Beggs said Thursday that the studio is planning on a TV movie that would lead into a first season of 10 to 13 episodes, possibly followed by multiple seasons. “There’s a tremendous fandom,” Beggs added.
Variety first reported on July 20 that Lionsgate was planning to wrap up “Divergent Series” movies by ditching the fourth title — “The Divergent Series: Ascendant” — as a feature film in favor of a TV movie and standalone television series set in the same post-apocalyptic world. The third film, “The Divergent Series: Allegiant,” underperformed this spring with $66 million in domestic grosses and $113 million internationally.
“The performance of the last segment of the theatrical didn’t really create a situation where we could commit the production resources necessary to really make the production we needed,” Beggs said.
“We got excited about the possibility of what the series could look like — resolving the novel in a season across 10 to 13 episodes and then expanding from there into multiple seasons,” he added. “This is an example of what we call the virtuous cycle of content bouncing back and forth from TV and film. The economic upside on a long term series franchise is very substantial.”
No casting announcements have been made, and it’s uncertain whether lead actress Shailene Woodley will return.
Miles Teller, who has been in all three “Divergent” movies, told Variety at Wednesday night’s premiere of “War Dogs” that he has not been approached about the TV movie and was uncertain if he would participate if asked.
Feltheimer and Beggs’ comments about the future of the franchise came on the heels of Lionsgate reporting earnings and revenues for its first quarter ended June 30 that were above analysts expectations. Feltheimer said the completion of the $4.4 billion acquisition of premier cabler Starz, announced June 30, would “accelerate the growth and diversification of both companies.”