The Divergent Series never really got its feet under it as a YA franchise. Coming shortly after The Hunger Games and with another strong female lead in Shailene Woodley, the adaptation of Veronica Roth's sci-fi novels were expected to be another hit, but that never really materialized. The 2014 film only earned $288M worldwide, considerably less than The Maze Runner which opened that same year. Sequels followed, of course, but it was this year's Allegiant that really fumbled with only $179M total. Oof. That prompted Lionsgate to admit they screwed up royally, and now here comes the fallout.
According to Variety, plans are underway to forego a theatrical run for the franchise finale, Ascendant, and instead release it as a TV movie which they hope will launch a spinoff series. Er....no. That won't happen. Ascendant was scheduled to open on June 9th 2017, and remember that Robert Schwentke dropped out with the directing reins handed over to Lee Toland Krieger (Celeste and Jesse Forever) with a significantly reduced budget.
Here's the thing: nobody is signed to this yet. What do you think the chances are Lionsgate can get Woodley, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Naomi Watts, Zoe Kravitz, and others for a small-screen conclusion to a floundering franchise? Probably not very good. It's all pretty early on and no networks are involved yet, but this offhand I can't imagine any of the original stars agreeing to this.