Lionsgate just closed the book on The Hunger Games quadrilogy last year, but they are still working The Divergent Series, another quadrilogy of a popular YA novel, with Summit Entertainment. Though the norm is to try to get a director locked into directing some if not all of the installments of the franchise, it appears that Robert Schwentke has had enough working on The Divergent Series, and will stop directing the films after its penultimate installment, The Divergent Series: Alligent.
According to a new report, Schwentke has dropped out of directing The Divergent: Ascendant, the final film of the franchise, which is a bit strange because the adaptation of the final book was split into two films, and most directors actually stick around until the end. More on the story below.
Deadline was the first to report on the news. The move puts Lionsgate and Summit in a precarious position. They must now find a new director if they are to stay on scheduled for the June 9, 2017, scheduled release date.
Schwentke had actually replaced Neil Burger after he left the first installment, Divergent.
As for the reason for his departure. Well as the report puts it, there is “nothing sinister here.” But Schwentke just needed a break, after making Insurgent and Allegiant, back to back.
Allegiant and Ascendant are the final two films of The Divergent Series, with the two films actually being a split of the Allegiant novel. While Lionsgate intends to see the series to the end, it hasn’t matched the success of the studio’s highly successful Hunger Games films. Together, the two Divergent films have grossed a total of $586 million.
For those who may not have been following the series, The Divergent Series is based on Veronica Roth‘s trilogy of dystopian YA novels. The society of the trilogy defines its citizens by their social and personality-related affiliation with five different factions, which removes the threat of anyone exercising independent will and threatening the population’s safety. Tris (Shailene Woodly) possesses all five personality traits, and is seen as a threat. With the support of her friends, played by Tobias “Four” Eaton, Ansel Elgort, Zoë Kravitz, and Miles Teller, they defeat the Erudite and Dauntless leaders, and open the city gates to find out what lies beyond the city boundaries.
Ascendant is said to start shooting in Atlanta this summer, hopefully by then Lionsgate is able to find a suitable director to close out the franchise.