Lionsgate Splitting Final 'Divergent' Sequel 'Allegiant' into Two Films
Because previous split sequel finales have found so much success with The Twilight Saga, Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment have decided to split the final chapter of Allegiant, the last sequel in Veronica Roth's sci-fi young adult novel series that began with Divergent. The first film just hit theaters in March and has pulled in $139 million worldwide so far after just three weeks at the box office, with several markets (France, Germany, Russia, Australia, Scandinavia and more) yet to release the film. It may not be a runaway hit, but it's enough for the studio to maximize their profits.
Allegiant was already set for release on March 18th, 2016, and that's when Allegiant - Part I will open, and then Allegiant - Part 2 will hit theaters on March 24th, 2017. In addition, Deadline notes that the films will be produced separately, so they won't be shooting back-to-back like the previous franchises that had their finale split into two parts. We don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't read the book, so we can't speculate as to where the film will be split and where Tris (Shailene Woodley) will be at in the story, but fans will surely have an idea. Lionsgate Co-Chairmen Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger seem to think the story lends itself to two films:
“Veronica Roth brings her captivating story to a masterful conclusion in Allegiant, a rich, action-packed book with material that is ideally suited to two strong and fulfilling movies. The storytelling arc and world of the characters lend themselves perfectly to two films, a storytelling strategy that has worked very well for us on the two Twilight Breaking Dawn films and about which we’re tremendously enthusiastic for the two upcoming Mockingjay films of The Hunger Games franchise.”
From a filmmaking perspective, the idea of splitting films just seems silly, if only because neither stands on its own as an individual film. It's hard to review when the story hasn't clearly been wrapped up at the end, and you can't treat the film as a complete arc. There are plenty of films that have cliffhangers with the intention of continuing in the future, but they still have a beginning, middle and end. Anyway, as of now there's no director for Allegiant, but Robert Schwentke is slated to helm the next film, Insurgent, which will hit theaters on March 20th, 2015. Stay tuned for any updates.