Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Lionsgate have announced that they’re thinking of releasing the last movie in the Divergent series, Ascendant, on the small screen instead of in cinemas. And with new characters that will allow the company to develop a spin-off TV series.
Now, if you’re a fan of the Divergent series – and if box office returns for Allegiant are any indication, there are fewer of you than when Insurgent was released – this might feel as though Lionsgate have betrayed their initial promise to bring Veronica Roth’s YA novels to the big screen. But while Allegiant was very disappointing due to its downplaying of Tris’s role and revelation that the Big Bad behind everything was a bean counter, you could argue that Lionsgate did themselves no favours by splitting the last novel into two movies.
Which makes their decision to move forward with a TV movie and spin-off series all the more confusing. If audiences are dwindling so badly, and interest in the movie series is waning, on what creative or financial level is it a good idea to develop a TV show from the same material? Lionsgate have been greedy before, and it’s worked, with two-part releases for Twilight: Breaking Dawn and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay being very successful indeed. But clearly their strategy has backfired on them this time. So with this in mind, this week’s question is:
Should companies adapting book trilogies for the big screen adopt a movie-by-movie approach to making them, or should they take the approach used on the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies and make them all at once?