The Mistake They Made On Divergent: Allegiant, According To The Studio Head

Allegiant, the third chapter in the ongoing Divergent series, was a terrible movie. On that, we should all be able to agree. It was poorly reviewed. It earned less than half of the U.S. take of the first movie. And it had many questioning whether or not the fourth and final movie in the series, Ascendant, should even happen. Well, it turns out there was a reason why Allegiant was so bad. The studio rushed on it, so they could hit a release date.

This bombshell of a reveal comes from Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer, who was speaking on a conference call and admitted, via The Wrap:

Maybe we rushed the third movie a bit instead of taking our time with it. We wanted to hit a date.

I mean, that’s one excuse for the abysmal "special" effects and nonsensical plotting of Divergent: Allegiant, a story that found Tris (Shailene Woodley) breaking free of her native Chicago with a small band of rebels to see what was waiting for them on the opposite side of the wall. What they found was David (Jeff Daniels), a dangerous adversary who has been tracking Tris’ progress in Chicago, and who has a much bigger plan in play for her than she ever realized.

There are so many things that I don’t understand about Feltheimer’s statement, though. Seeing as how Allegiant is the third series in a four-part movie franchise – and was GOING to be a four-part movie franchise almost from the beginning – why wasn’t Team Divergent doing pre-production on parts three and four during Divergent: Insurgent, which came out in 2015? The existence of Allegiant wasn’t a surprise. It was part of the plan all along. Also, while the movie needed a script, it’s being based on an existing novel, so the beats of the story should already have been worked out. Why did they need to rush?

This, too, is puzzling. The same director, Robert Schwentke, transitioned from Insurgent to Allegiant. The same cast transitioned, as well. Some of the same Chicago sets were used, so if anything, Allegiant should have had a leg up on its predecessors. Lionsgate should have had PLENTY of time to deliver a suitable sequel. Really, I want to know why the franchise had to rush on this one. I’m deeply confused.

Part of this speaks to the problem that is caused when studios announce release dates for sequels long before they have the parts in place to produce said film. There is a growing need for studios to piss on a date ad scare off any potential rivals… but then it creates a ticking clock that in the head of a director, which tends to produce unsatisfactory results.

Schwentke, for his part, walked away from the Divergent series after Allegiant, and while Lee Toland Krieger agreed to helm Ascendant, we haven’t heard much as we get closer to the June 9, 2017 release date. Will it actually happen? Your guess is as good as mine.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.