German film director Robert Schwentke, who helmed both Insurgent and the upcoming Allegiant (slated to hit in theaters in March), has stepped down the director’s chair for the fourth and final film in the post-apocalyptic Divergent franchise, “The Divergent Series: Ascendant.”
As stated by Deadline, there have been no outside factors influencing the decision of Schwentke; the director needed a breather after working on and releasing the previous two Divergent installments over the years. It is assumed that the director maintains a good working relationship with entertainment company Lionsgate, which director Schwentke also teamed up with to helm the action-comedy film series Red in 2010.
Lionsgate is anticipated to find a replacement director soon, as Ascendant is scheduled to start filming in Atlanta this summer.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Ascendant, which stars Shailene Woodley, English actor Theo James, Naomi Watts, and Tony Award nominee Jeff Daniels, is slated to hit theaters on June 9, 2017.
As stated by Slash Film, “The Divergent Series: Allegiant, out on March 18, finds Tris reeling from her discovery at the end of The Divergent Series: Insurgent about the true origins of her strangely divided community. Shailene Woodley returns as heroine Tris, and Theo James as her love interest Four.”
The YA books by Veronica Roth have been best-sellers since 2011, with the trilogy selling over 34 million copies. The Divergent in 2014, helmed by Neil Burger, was the first film in the dystopian sci-fi adventure series, and the second installment, Insurgent, was released in 2015.