In hindsight, the title Ascendant was probably a mistake.
In some ways, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a higher-end version of James Franco but occasionally you have to wonder if we’ve allowed him to take himself a little too seriously. Take the latest trailer for Oliver Stone’s Snowden, for instance, which A.) Reminds you that this is a movie that is still coming out soon, and B.) Features one of the most baffling prestige-acting accents in recent memory.
The first Divergent movie did OK in theaters, owing much of its success to the YA post-apocalyptic craze and the popularity of stars Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller. But the subsequent installments saw diminishing returns, with the third film, Allegiant, taking a major hit at the box office — possibly because audiences had YA fatigue, or maybe because the story just wasn’t that compelling. Whatever the case may be, the final Divergent film will skip past theaters and head direct-to-television, with plans to launch a spinoff series.
Last year Open Road films pushed the release date of Oliver Stone’s Snowden back from Christmas, where it would have had to compete with Star Wars: The Force Awakens and a handful of Oscar contenders, to May 2016. That wasn’t exactly a vote of confidence for the film based on the life of famed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, and it would have forced Stone’s latest to contend with Captain America: Civil War. Snowden will no longer have to worry about Marvel, as the film has once again been pushed back, this time to early fall.
Robert Schwentke has pulled out of the Divergent franchise before he could begin production on Ascendant. The director has already helmed Insurgent and gotten Allegiant, set for a March 18 release, in the can.
In case you didn’t know (Shailene Woodley only mentions it twice), the next installment of The Divergent Series is heading beyond the wall, to see what lies outside the confines of Chicago. A new trailer for Allegiant promises that, if nothing else, things are going to get real weird, and real CGI-heavy when these kids diverge (get it?!) from their fortified city.
There are only three Divergent books. But there’s going to be four movies. Because when you take a popular series of young-adult novels and turn them into a series of movies, you always split the last one. That’s just the rule. If you don’t, they kick you out of Hollywood.
Snowden was originally given a winter release date, putting it right in the middle of awards season, but Open Road recently removed Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden film from the release schedule, pushing it back to sometime in 2016. It was a move that confused some and seemed like a bad omen to others, but now we know exactly when to expect Stone’s latest — and you’ll have to wait a bit longer than you’d probably like.
The Divergent series has never reached the culture-saturating heights of the Hunger Games movies, but it’s done well for itself. Divergent and its awkwardly titled sequel, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, left fans satisfied and made their fare share of cash at the box office. The first trailer for The Divergent Series: Allegiant (ugh, that title) is preaching to the choir. No one put off by the first two films will be won over by this footage and no one who skipped the first two will be able to follow any of this, but this movie doesn’t need your approval. It just needs the approval of the faithful.
“One nation, under surveillance, with liberty and justice for all.” Damn, that’s a good tagline.