Fans of the Divergent trilogy have been wondering for years if Divergent 4 would happen. The film series producer Neil Burger along with the film series' cast have seemingly moved on without a word to the fans. The director hasn’t said much about the canceled fourth installment until now. Burger gave his blunt thoughts on if the fourth film would ever happen.
The lingering question has been out there for years. The Divergent series was left with some loose ends and unfinished storylines after Divergent 4 was canceled. Neil Burger would know more than anyone considering he directed the first installment and produced the last two. So years after its cancellation, Burger finally answered the longstanding question while promoting his latest film Voyagers. The director recently told the hosts of our own ReelBlend podcast:
I don’t. I don’t. I mean, I suppose it’s possible. But if you are asking me if I think it’s going to happen, I don’t. And it’s a shame, in a way, because there were three books, and it should have been three (movies). Lionsgate is distributing Voyagers, and I love the people at Lionsgate. … But at the time, actually I think I said to them, ‘It should just be three.’ You know, they had split Harry Potter and split Twilight, The Hunger Games. They all split it into two for the end. It didn’t need to be, and it shouldn’t have been. And I don’t think the third one, which I think I’m an executive producer on, but I wasn’t really involved in it, it just didn’t go well, and then it got left hanging with part of it.
As Neil Burger pointed out, Lionsgate was looking at cash grab by patterning the Divergent franchise after other young adult franchises. Of course, that mindset ultimately doomed a promising franchise. But at least Burger had the wherewithal to know doing the fourth film wasn’t the best idea. That coupled with the franchise’s diminishing critical and commercial reception led to Divergent 4 not moving forward.
Arguably what doomed the Divergent film series from the start was The Hunger Games. The similarities between both film series and source material made audiences side-eye Lionsgate and Divergent. If there had been time between the two franchises, things probably would've worked out better. While Neil Burger has some control over the series, studios heads ultimately steered the ship. Once the studio didn’t see the films as a priority anymore, they tried to push the franchise toward television. But that wasn’t what the stars or fans really wanted. Shailene Woodley voiced her opinion on the situation before bailing on the franchise. That move eventually leading to Lionsgate closing shop completely.
While Divergent fans might want a proper conclusion, Neil Burger’s words essentially crushed that dream. But it was neither Burger nor Shailene Woodley’s fault. It ultimately came down to Lionsgate executives biting off more than they could chew. That decision left fans with unanswered questions. Hopefully, the series will be revived for film or television and give fans the conclusion they deserve.