A few years ago, America was caught in the grips of YA adaptation fever. The success of Twilight and The Hunger Games led Hollywood studios scrambling for their own piece of the blockbuster pie. But jumping on the bandwagon in an attempt to replicate the success of a competitor rarely yields the same results. So while Jennifer Lawrence’s Hunger Games became a billion-dollar franchise, the similarly dystopian Divergent series starring Shailene Woodley did not. The latter franchise floundered so badly that Lionsgate decided the final chapter — Ascendant — would be a television event rather than a feature film.
Now even that is in jeopardy as Shailene Woodley has confirmed she has backed out of the franchise. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Woodley succinctly confirmed her departure during an interview about her upcoming HBO miniseries Big Little Lies: “No. I’m not going to be on the television show.”
For those who have been following the Divergent drama, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Back in September, Woodley hinted at her displeasure with the deflated-balloon-sound that is Ascendant when speaking to ScreenRant, during an interview for her role in Snowden. At the time, Woodley said she still had respect for the studio and everyone involved, but she didn’t sign up to for a television show. With the star dropping out of the franchise, and persistent rumblings that Woodley’s co-stars are considering the same move, the final installment of the series may never “ascend” passed the planning stages at this point.