We’re just a few weeks away from the penultimate chapter of The Divergent Series, as The Divergent Series: Allegiant hits theaters in the middle of March. As is the pattern with movie franchises based on popular young adult novels, the final book is being split into two separate films. As is also usually the case, the films have been arriving one per year, but the last chapter, Ascendant, slated for a 2017 release, recently suffered a setback, losing its director. That situation has now been rectified, however, as The Age of Adaline’s Lee Toland Krieger has been earmarked for the job.

Given the timeline, Summit Entertainment needed to move quickly after Robert Schwentke decided not to re-up for The Divergent Series: Ascendant, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, that’s just what the studio did. The trade reports that Lee Toland Krieger is in talks to helm the final film in the profitable young adult franchise.

Lee Toland Krieger may only be 33-years-old, but he already has a lengthy list of projects to his credit. He wrote and directed the indie drama December Ends in 2006, but it was really the comedic drama The Vicious Kind, which starred Adam Scott and J.K. Simmons, that put him on peoples’ radars. That film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival that year and even earned Krieger an Independent Spirit Award nomination for best screenplay. He followed that up with the well received Celeste & Jesse Forever, which starred writer Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg, and the era-spanning The Age of Adaline last year. That was his biggest project to date, but The Divergent Series: Ascendant marks an even greater step up in scope and scale. It will be interesting to see what he makes of this opportunity.

Robert Schwentke decided to depart from The Divergent Series after directing the second chapter, Insurgent, and the upcoming Allegiant. Though those films, as well as the first, have been reasonably successful at the box office, Schwentke stepped away because, after doing two films in the saga back-to-back, he needed a break and wanted to spend more time in Los Angeles, with his family, rather than journey back to Atlanta for another go round.

Set in a dystopian near future, The Divergent Series stars Shailene Woodley as Beatrice "Tris" Prior, a young woman who takes on an over-simplified system of government that sorts citizens into a series of Factions based on their dominant personality trait. Allegiant is poised to rip this world open in a big way. Up to now, the vast majority of the action has taken place in a walled-in Chicago, but the action from this point onward exposes a whole lot more on the outside that Tris and her friends will have to deal with.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant hits theaters on March 18, while Ascendant, which begins filming this summer, opens on June 9, 2017.

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