Lionsgate took some time today start talking up their deal to acquire cable channel Starz. But more importantly, thanks to Deadline, we also know they confirmed the fate of the final Divergent movie. Recently, it was rumored that the series would be going to TV rather than theaters for the final movie, and possibly acting as a lead in for a continuing Divergent TV series. Which was news to Shailene Woodley, the star of the Divergent movies. Well, turns out the rumors had it right.
Details on the Starz Deal
Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer called the deal “the largest and most transformative acquisition in our history…We’re even more excited about the deal today than when we first announced it.” The company will now be spending an estimated $1 billion a year on new TV series, slightly more than the $800 million they expect to spend on movies, and $700 million to market everything.
Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns responded to claims they were pressured into the deal by major Lionsgate shareholder John Malone. “John Malone thought these two assets would fit nicely together, he’s been saying that for a long time. But make no mistake: We wanted the Starz deal.” Lionsgate expects to see more than $200 million in annual cash savings.
Details on the Divergent TV Series
Kevin Beggs, the Television Group Chairman, explained the decision to shift to a TV presentation to close out the Divergent series, “The performance of the last segment of the theatrical didn’t really create a situation where [Lionsgate] could commit the production resources necessary to really make the production we needed.” Beggs continued to explain that his team was then invited into to the discussion, and “got excited about the possibility of what the series could look like — resolving the novel in a season across 10 to 13 episodes and then expanding from there into multiple seasons.”
According to Deadline, Lionsgate will begin shopping the series around to different interested networks next week. “This is an example of what we call the virtuous cycle of content bouncing back and forth from TV and film,” Beggs added. “The economic upside on a long term series franchise is very substantial.”
Oddly, it seems like Lionsgate is continuing to not talk to the stars of the series about their plans. Miles Teller, who plays the role of Peter, isn’t sure exactly what he’d like to do. “At this point, it’s a different set of circumstances. We’ll see. I honestly haven’t talked to anybody. Things do change anytime they’re messing with something that was not the original intention. We all signed on for it in hopes that it’d be released in theaters, and we all had every intention of finishing [the franchise].”
So, what do you think? Any Divergent fans out there interested in the proposed plans for the Divergent TV series?
Featured Image: Lionsgate