News recently broke that the final addition to the Divergent franchise, Ascendant, will presumably be sent straight to TV as opposed to being released in theaters. The specifics have remained vague and there is still more confirmation needed before officially validating the rumor. However, it appears as though the cast has remained completely out of the loop, including Shailene Woodley who plays the protagonist, Tris Prior.
The movie franchise, which revolves around a dystopian society, is adapted from the series of novels written by Veronica Roth. The final book was split into two separate films, a move we have seen applied to Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games.
While the first two films received tremendous success, the third, entitled Allegiant, was a box office flop, earning $66 million domestically. This obviously instilled doubt in regards to the success of potential plans for the final sequel.
Lionsgate, which has been looking into expanding their franchises via television, made no exception for Divergent. After the recent deal with Starz, there have been talks about expanding The Hunger Games franchise to a television series amongst other options. At this point, nothing will stand in the way of Lionsgate officializing their transition to TV.
The last Divergent movie was originally planned to appear in US theaters in June 2017, which would position it against The Mummy reboot and World War Z 2. Instead, everything is being put into question with these talks of transitioning to Lionsgate TV.
While appearing at San Diego Comic-Con for her upcoming movie, Snowden, Shailene Woodley was asked about her feelings on the matter. The star did not appear to be any more informed than her worried loyal fans.
Woodley admitted that she had just gotten off the plane when she read the article revealing the big news and wasted no time before contacting her rep to ask what it was all about. Everyone is still just trying to figure out the situation at the moment:
"We don't have any information. I think that came as a surprise to everybody. So, I don't actually know how much truth is in that article or not."
None of the cast has read the script for the final production yet, and this move to TV would mean re-negotiating the actors' contracts. There is so much up in the air that it may be a difficult choice for the cast to decide whether to stick around for the remainder of the series. It would be awkward if some did, but not all, or if none of them did. Ideally, they would all remain.
It would be extremely unfortunate for the cast to be switched out right before the conclusion, something that surely wouldn't do much good to an already struggling franchise... As of yet, it appears as though no decision has been made on Shailene Woodley's behalf.
"The factors [to take into consideration to return or not] would be I need to know the details, in which case I know no details. So..."
We can't stress enough that it's in Lionsgate's best interest to do whatever necessary to keep Woodley on board. She is a major component to the franchise's success and recasting her would be devastating to her loyal fan base. Could you just imagine if Katniss Everdeen, Bella Swan or Hermione Granger had been recast in their last film?
Her character, Tris Prior, is an icon at this point, so no one will be pleased to see her reimagined at the very end of a franchise. It'd be a different thing if it were a separate project, like the spin-off that is anticipated to derive from Ascendant. We've made it clear we don't want Woodley to go anywhere, but if for some reason she gives up her role, then which three actresses would make for a suitable replacement?
1. Willa Holland
This actress has appeared on The O.C. and Gossip Girl, but we've grown to love her most in her role as Thea Queen in Arrow. She started off as your typical naive little sister who would often get into trouble. Now she's an intimidating and fierce killing machine who you'd be a fool to mess with — but who still gets into trouble.
Willa Holland has proven her commitment to TV, so this type of movie shouldn't bother her. If anyone can come close to following in Woodley's footsteps, it's certainly our beloved Speedy.
2. Danielle Campbell
Danielle Campbell is also used to TV, so she'd probably be willing to do a movie that is set to air on television. Although she's appeared in several Disney productions and in Prison Break as Gracey Hollander, the actress is most known for her role as the teenage witch Davina Claire on The Originals.
Much like Tris, Danielle's role on The CW started off as a powerful yet impressionable teenager who learned quickly and became empowered. She becomes an even bigger threat to her enemies as the series evolves. She would do great in this role and it would be interesting to see her as a blond.
3. Chloë Grace Moretz
Chloë Grace Moretz's asking price may be too high as the actress has quickly escalated in Hollywood. However, this actress has proven time and again that she makes for an inspiring female lead. Her first major role as Hit Girl in Lionsgate's Kick-Ass (2010) is probably the best example of a young female to watch out for.
Replacing Shailene Woodley with such a big name may be the one loop-hole to avoid getting fans too mad. Like we've said, no one wants to see a recast so late in a franchise, but at least if it's Chloë Grace Moretz, you can't be too upset. Regardless, the chances of her actually accepting the offer would be rather unlikely.
On the off chance that Shailene Woodley turns down her role, who would you want to cast?