Going four for four with its Divergent series, Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment will launch Allegiant into theaters across the globe next month, welcoming back Shailene Woodley, Theo James and director Robert Schwentke, before closing the book on the dystopian YA series in 2017.
Such an accelerated production schedule – one that closely resembles that of The Hunger Games – has seemingly caused Schwentke to call time on the franchise though, with Deadline reporting that the director won’t return at the helm for next year’s Ascendant. Having already taken the reins of both Insurgent and soon-to-be-released threequel Allegiant, all signs pointed to Schwentke seeing out the series until its finale in 2017, though it’s now confirmed that the German filmmaker won’t return for the sequel formerly known as Allegiant – Part 2.
Neither Lionsgate nor Summit Entertainment disclosed an official reason for Schwentke’s departure, though sources close to Deadline claim that tackling the massive scale of production associated with The Divergent Series year on year forced the director to take a break. Franchise fatigue isn’t exclusive to moviegoers, of course.
As for next month’s Allegiant, Tris (Woodley) and Four (James) will venture beyond the walls of Chicago in search of the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, and though a name change means it’s not strictly speaking a two-part finale, Allegiant will have to win over those fans burned by The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and its sluggish pacing in 2014.
It’s understood that the filmmaker’s decision to pass up The Divergent Series: Ascendant hasn’t affected the blockbuster’s planned summer shoot, indicating that Lionsgate will move fast to nail down a replacement before sending off the franchise in earnest come June 9, 2017.