A few weeks back came the surprise news that Lionsgate had decided to ditch the final film in its “Divergent” franchise in favor of a TV movie wrap-up leading into a spin-off series. The financial failure of the third film meant something drastic had to happen, but this seemed fairly extreme.
Executives for the mini-major though are bullish about its transition to the small screen, CEO Jon Feltheimer and TV Group Chair Kevin Beggs saying the prospect has already attracted a dozen potential buyers. Speaking with Variety, the pair confirmed the studio is planning on a TV movie that would lead into a first season of 10 to 13 episodes.
That TV series could then possibly be followed by multiple seasons. Beggs talks about the decision to switch formats mid-stream:
“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. 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. 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 any of the actors from the films will return. Just this week Miles Teller, who appeared in all three of the previous films, said he has not been approached about the TV movie and was uncertain if he would participate if asked.