Shailene Woodley's 'Allegiant' to get the two-film treatment

In keeping with what’s become standard practice for final books in young-adult series, Summit announced Friday it’s splitting “Allegiant,” the third and final novel in Veronica Roth’s tale of the Dauntless and the Amitys, into two films.

The company will keep up the breakneck pace it’s begun with the first two Shailene Woodley pictures, releasing the first of the “Allegiant” movies in March 2016 and the second in March 2017. This after “Insurgent,” the sequel to this past March's “Divergent,” comes out in March 2015. (That movie is getting ready to head into production with director Robert Schwentke.)

All of which means that -- yes -- four Roth adaptations will hit within the space of three years. It’s a move that makes sense from a business standpoint — midmajors like Summit/Lionsgate need franchises and this gives the company a kind of economic consistency. Still, that's a lot of franchise-type moviemaking in a short period with not a ton of time for development and prep.

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It remains to be seen whether the Woodley-Theo James franchise can become the mega-success that other YA franchises such as “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” have been (also for Summit/Lionsgate, and also with a last-book-two-movie-approach). The first film, “Divergent,” has performed solidly if not spectacularly -- it has grossed $117 million entering its fourth weekend. By comparison “The Hunger Games,” which targeted the same audience and came out on a comparable date, had grossed $315 million entering its fourth weekend.

Expect director(s) to be named for “Allegiant” in the not-too-distant or dystopian future.


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