It’s all over... almost. The third installment in Veronica Roth’s Divergent series hits movie theaters on March 18. But while Allegiant is the final book in Veronica Roth’s dystopian trilogy, the franchise is following in the steps of previous YA franchises like Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games by splitting the last book into two films. So, undoubtedly, the formally titled The Divergent Series: Allegiant will have a cliffhanger ending, to be fully resolved in 2017 with The Divergent Series: Ascendant. Shailene Woodley (Triss), Theo James (Four), and Miles Teller (Peter), all reprise their roles, and the film kicks off with Tris and Four seeking escape from Chicago and a way over the wall that encloses it.
As often accompanies the release of the latest film adaptation in a popular YA series, fans have speculated about how the book might be altered for the big screen. Theo James spoke with Collider about any changes that were made to the movie from the book: “Not huge [changes], no. I think they were able to consolidate with the third movie and kind of consolidate all the key elements of the book. I think it’s gonna be pretty similar. I think the luxury of this one is that we have time to tell the book over two movies so I think, if anything, it’ll be the material in the book, but then added as well. There will be more stuff because we have more time to tell the story.”
As the ending of the final book left many reeling, it remains to be seen (in 2017) whether the last and final film will ameliorate any of their discomfort. There’s even an online petition circulating that pleads with Lionsgate to offer two endings to the film – an official one and an alternative (happily ever-after) ending.
On the publishing front, HarperCollins has released a tie-in edition of Allegiant that features cover art from the movie and bonus content. Sales for the series have remained robust since the publication of Divergent in 2011, with more than 35 million copies sold.
The first two films performed well at the box office, each grossing well over $100 million. Despite some residual dystopian fatigue, the books have such a sturdy fan-base that the third film is likely to be no exception. And Roth is spending a lot of time connecting with readers. Throughout the month of March, the author is visiting schools nationwide to speak with kids about writing and what it feels like to see her books turned into movies. And in other news, Harper is set to publish a new duology from Roth, the first of which will be released in winter 2017.