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Add Divergent director Neil Burger to the list of cast and crew that are disappointed to hear that the franchise will likely conclude on television instead of the big screen.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Burger, who helmed the first film in the dystopian-set franchise, reacted to the news that the story will be wrapped up with a television movie and possible spinoff series.
“I think it’s sad,” Burger said. “I was just talking to the people at Lionsgate about something else recently, and it’s just that they got themselves into a difficult bind through various circumstances. … I don’t think they feel like they should’ve split [the last book] into two [films]. If they hadn’t, they would’ve been in much better shape, but at the time I’m sure they were excited and they saw some potential there.”
While the Divergent book series from Veronica Roth was a trilogy, Lionsgate had previously made the decision to split the final book into two movies, similar to the Twilight and Hunger Games franchises. The problem was that the most recent film, Allegiant, was a critical and financial failure.
Burger has moved on from the Divergent series and is now working on a remake of the French film The Intouchables, but the franchise’s status in limbo has left stars Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller, and Ansel Elgort unsure of their future involvement.
“It’s just too bad because I love all those actors, and they were very loyal to it,” said Burger, who shared that he has had discussions with some of the actors. “They’re still really trying to figure out what they’re gonna do with it.”