After the first two movies were released, Divergent (2014) and Insurgent (2015), the third book, Allegiant, was set to be split into two parts. But the second part, which was initially titled Ascendant, never came to fruition after part one was released in 2016.
In a recent interview with People magazine, Roth said she has now accepted the way the film series concluded.
“I mean, breaking things in two was all the rage at the time. That was why that decision was made,” she explained. “But at that point, I think I always felt peace about it just because I knew the movies were taking a different track than the books, and if you change the lead up, you change the ending. So I kind of felt like at that point … I feel like that third movie, I don’t know, there’s a lot we could talk about with it. But it’s its own thing.”
She continued, “It feels complete to me, relatively speaking, because what does that even mean at that point?”
Set in a dystopian Chicago society, Roth’s sci-fi trilogy follows Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley), a young woman who learns she will never be able to fit into any of the world’s factions, which are based on virtues. She must navigate keeping her secrets to herself to stay alive as well as keep the city from falling apart.
The films also starred Theo James, Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Ashley Judd, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn and Ansel Elgort.
Once Lionsgate saw diminishing box-office returns on Allegiant, they decided to first slash the budget on the fourth movie, Ascendant, but ultimately ended up dropping the feature completely. Lionsgate also looked into developing a TV take on Ascendant, but it also never panned out.
As for Roth’s thoughts on separating a book into multiple movies, she said, “I just feel like it’s got to be a big, long book in order for that to make sense.”
The author’s comments follow Hunger Games: Mockingjay director Francis Lawrence recently saying that he “totally regrets” dividing the final book into two films.
“In an episode of television, if you have a cliffhanger, you have to wait a week or you could just binge it and then you can see the next episode,” he told People. “But making people wait a year, I think, came across as disingenuous, even though it wasn’t. Our intentions were not to be disingenuous.”