‘Divergent’ Sets Date for Third Film ‘Allegiant,’ Loses Director Neil Burger for the Sequel
Lionsgate seems determined to see the 'Divergent' film trilogy, starring Shailene Woodley, to the end, but it's going to have to do that without director Neil Burger. As the studio sets a release date for the third and final installment in the series, 'Allegiant,' Burger has bowed out of helming any forthcoming sequels.
Burger is currently in post-production on 'Divergent,' the latest young-adult novel franchise transformed into a budding film universe, and the film is currently set for release on March 21, 2014. The sequel, 'Insurgent,' will follow on March 20, 2015 and third film, 'Allegiant,' has just been set for debut on March 18, 2016. According to Variety, however, Burger will not return for another round.
UPDATE: The Lionsgate-owned Summit Entertainment released an official statement on the matter:
Neil Burger is a rock star and he is doing a fantastic job on Divergent. We can't wait for you to see the film. But as amazing as Neil is he still cannot be in two places at once and thus needs to finish post production on Divergent while we gear up to start production on Insurgent. So, although Neil will continue on as part of our Divergent family as an executive producer, we sadly have to find another director for the next chapter in Veronica Roth's fantastic series.
'The Hunger Games,' another Lionsgate property, faced the same dilemma when director Gary Ross dropped out of directing 'Catching Fire,' 'Mockingjay - Part 1' and 'Mockingjay - Part 2.' In this case, the move ended up working in the franchise's favor -- or at least, for 'Catching Fire.' Francis Lawrence delivered one of the most critically acclaimed blockbusters of the year and is already hard at work on the final two installments with Jennifer Lawrence and co. returning.
'Divergent' sees a new young female protagonist, Shailene Woodley's Tris, who lives in a futuristic Chicago in which citizens are split up into factions based on certain character traits. But when she discovers she's "divergent," meaning she can exist in more than one of these groups, she discovers a government plot to do away with her and all those like her.