‘Divergent’ Ending Controversy Won’t Hurt Film, Lionsgate Says

Fans were divided on the third and final book in the series

Last Updated: July 10, 2014 @ 8:18 PM

When it comes to “Divergent,” the young adult books Lionsgate is betting will inspire a hit series of films, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

“A little controversy in terms of publicity never hurts,” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said during a conference call with analysts on Friday.

That’s good, because “Divergent” has certainly kicked up a ruckus. “Allegiant,” the third and final book in Veronica Roth’s young adult series of novels inspired outrage among some fans with its [SPOILER] downer of an ending when it hit stores last month.

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So intense was the outcry in certain circles that Roth was forced to respond on her blog, writing, “I’ve said before that this ending was always a part of the plan, but one thing I want to make clear is that I didn’t choose it to shock anyone, or to upset anyone, or because I’m ruthless with my characters — no, no, no.”

Lionsgate has to hope that the reaction isn’t so intense that fans of the books will opt to ignore the movie version, which stars Shailene Woodley and hits theaters in March.

So far the studio said that they’ve been tracking a lot of positive buzz for the third book on social media sites and noted that while some people were unhappy that the book series ended on a tragic note, many of the reviews were strong.