The Divergent Series: The Movie Trilogy and Their Order of Release

The Divergent Series is a science-fiction action film trilogy that includes Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant. The films were adapted from the science fiction novels The Divergent Series as written by Veronica Roth. In the trilogy, five key characters, Shailene Woodley, Theo Jamee, Miles Teller, Zoë Kravitz, and Ansel Elgort,  made the lead and supporting appearances in all of the chapters. Also retaining the same role throughout the three installments of the trilogy were all the three producers; Pouya Shahbazian, Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher.

The last two installments of the trilogy were directed by the same person while the first installment was directed by a different person. There have been rumors of a possible fourth installment of the trilogy as fans of the film eagerly demand a continuation of their favorite film series. Thus, the producers of the films are making plans to see that a possible fourth chapter of the film is realized. But, while we patiently await the arrival of the fourth film, let’s take a quick look at the production of the movies in their order of release.

The Divergent Series Production

Veronica Roth’s The Divergent Series novel was published between 2011 and 2013 and the development of the first installment of the film began in March 2011 when Summit Entertainment acquired the rights to produce a film from the Divergent novel. The first person hired in the film was Neil Burger, as the director of the first installment of the trilogy. Neil was hired to direct Divergent on August 23, 2012. Production of the first installment of the film started on April 16, 2013. Before production began, Shailene Woodley was announced to be the trilogy’s lead character Tris on October 22, 2012. The role of the male lead character was given to Theo James.

Not working on the post-production of the first installment of the trilogy hindered Neil Burger from directing the second and third installments of The Divergent Series. Following his removal from the director’s position, Robert Schwentke, a German movie director was called in to take over. The feature film trilogy was produced by the production companies: Summit Entertainment and Red Wagon Entertainment on a total production cost of $305 million for all three movies. The films were distributed by Lionsgate and summed up a total return of $765 million worldwide for the three installments.

Plans for a fourth film was scheduled to be released in March 2017 and was to be produced based on the latter part of the Allegiant book. Its release date was later changed to June 2017 and it was to be directed by Lee Toland Krieger. However, the film was canceled before it could make its premiere. One of the reasons why the fourth installment was canceled was because the producers of the trilogy offered to make a TV series rather than a fourth film. The idea of a TV series was brought up because of the poor reception of the third installment of the trilogy at the box office. The TV series would bring in more characters and fresh ideas that were not contained in The Divergent Series.

The lead character of the films, Shailene Woodley, backed out from her role for the television project after earlier stating she wanted in. Lionsgate and Starz later announced they would begin production of the TV series but the network executives were reluctant. Starz then withdrew from developing a TV version for the trilogy in December 2018.

Divergent Series: The Movie Trilogy and Their Order of Release

The entirety of the story of the Divergent Series centres on one society forced to divide into factions and a young girl whose lifestyle does not fit into any of the factions – namely Erudite (intellectual), Amity (peaceful), Abnegation (selfless), Dauntless (brave), and Candor (honesty). One moral force that can be drawn from the series lies in the fact that you always need to decide for yourself, no matter the circumstances. The Divergent trilogy includes:

Divergent (2014)

The 2014 dystopian sci-fi action movie is the first installment of The Divergent Series. The film was made based on the self-titled 2011 book written by Veronica Roth. The script was written by Vanessa Taylor and Evan Daugherty. Neil Burger directed the film while Douglas Wick, Pouya Shahbazian and Lucy Fisher were its producers. The film was edited by Nancy Richardson and Richard Francis-Bruce. Its Cinematography was done by AlwinKüchler while Junkie XL was in charge of the music. Divergent was distributed by Lionsgate while Red Wagon Entertainment and Summit Entertainment were in charge of its production.

Centered in a dysfunction environment, the people of Chicago are divided into different factions based on human virtues. The only faction which is not accepted is the Divergent faction. This dangerous faction was labeled by other factions as what must be removed so as to maintain balance and a perfect society, an illusion created by the society because the divergent people are out of the reach of the mental control tool they are developing.

Tris is warned by Tori Wu that she is divergent and must not tell a soul in order for her to remain alive. Tris joins the Dauntless faction and must pass several training and tests to keep her secret and also evade disqualification. Four, an instructor, is suspicious of Tris being divergent, following how easy and quick she passes her psychological simulation tests. Tris learns of the Erudite plan to overthrow Abnegation and seize power as the ruling faction. She goes to visit her brother Caleb and tells him of her recent discovery but Caleb is ignorant of Tris warnings. Four discovers that Tris is divergent and so, he and Tris must now find a way to hinder the Erudite plan of a coup.

Most parts of the film were shot in Chicago and filming began on April 16, 2013, and concluded on July 16, 2013. A few parts of the filming took place in Los Angeles which started on January 24, 2014, and concluded the entire filming on January 26, 2014. The film premiered on March 18, 2014, in Los Angeles, it was shot on a budget of $85 million and at the box office, it earned a sum of $288.9 million. Divergent was rated 6.7/10 on IMDb, 41% on Rotten Tomatoes, 48% on Metacritic and earned an A on Cinema Score.

Insurgent (2015)

The 2015 sci-fi action movie is the second installment of The Divergent Series. The film is an adaptation of Veronica Roth’s 2012 book of the same title. Robert Schwentke directed the film and the lead characters in Divergent reprised their appearances in it.

Five days after Tris and Four stopped the plot by the Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews to overthrow the Abnegation, the pair are on the run as Jeanine orders for their capture. It leaves the various factions confused and now everyone is desperate for answers and power. Tris has to evade capture and face several challenges from time to time, as well as try to figure out the truth. She is not alone as she has her divergent boyfriend Four on her side, along with her other allies.

Filming of Insurgent began in Atlanta on May 27, 2014, and finished on September 6, 2014. Some scenes in the film were unsatisfactory and were re-shot between December 17 and December 21, 2014.

The film premiered on March 11, 2015, in London. It was later released in the United States, nine days later. The film was shot on a budget of $110 million and earned $297.3 million at the box office worldwide. On a scale of A+ to F, CinemaScore rated the second installment of The Divergent Series as A-. It was rated on Metacritic with 42% from 40 reviews, 28% on Rotten Tomatoes from 196 reviews. Finally, the film was rated 6.2/10 on IMDb.

See Also: Will There be a Justice League 2? When Is The Release Date or Is It Cancelled?

Allegiant (2016)

Robert Schwentke kept his position as the director in yet another chapter of The Divergent Series as he directed Allegiant. The 2016 film was also adapted from the novel written by Veronica Roth. Mandeville Films joined Summit Entertainment and Red Wagon Entertainment in the production of the film just as in the second installment of the trilogy. Lionsgate once again took charge of its distribution.

First released in Bangkok on March 8, 2016, the film later premiered in the United States on March 18, 2016. The film which runs for 121 minutes was shot on a budget between $110 and 142 million. It recorded the lowest box office return of all three installments of The Divergent Series as it could only manage $179.2 million earnings at the box office worldwide.

Once again, the plot is centred around Tris and her boyfriend Four. Together with a few of their friends, they escaped by going over the wall which enclosed Chicago. On the other side of the wall, Tris and her group of friends discovers new truths and are faced with new threats.

Initially, Allegiant was proposed to be split into two parts namely: Allegiant 1 and Allegiant 2. The first part was supposed to cover the former part of the book which the film was adapted from, while the second part was to cover the latter part of the book. Producers of the film later dropped the idea of a split as they opted to strictly keep the films unique names. In September 2015, the proposed second part was named Ascendant.


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