EXCLUSIVE: A major title in Lionsgate’s movie library is eyeing a TV series adaptation at the company’s new subsidiary, Starz. I have learned that Starz is developing Ascendant, a drama TV series based on the Summit/Lionsgate movie franchise.
The project, which is in early stages, is being written/executive produced by Adam Cozad (Tarzan, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) and directed/executive produced by Lee Toland Krieger (The Age Of Adaline). The two were previously attached to write and direct Ascendant when it was envisioned as a feature and fourth installment in the Divergent film series.
Lionsgate ultimately last summer opted not to proceed with a fourth movie, instead opting to continue to franchise on television, with a TV movie and a spinoff series with new characters being discussed as possibilities.
There are no details about the Ascendant TV series at Starz. It is unclear whether the cast from the movie, led by Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Ansel Elgort, would appear on the series though that is considered a possibility as a way to wrap their characters’ story and jump-start the series. Reps for Starz and Lionsgate TV declined comment.
Seven months after Lionsgate’s acquisition of Starz was completed, Starz last week announced the first series order to a show from Lionsgate TV, The Rook. It’s the first of many to come, Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht said at the time. “We’ve got an exciting slate of stuff with Lionsgate in development,” he said. “There will be more to come in close partnership with Lionsgate, which we will announce in the months ahead.”
The Divergent films, based on Veronica Roth’s bestselling books, are set in a futuristic society where people are broken up into social and personality-related factions.
Cozad is developing a television adaption of Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Lonesome Dove for Sonar Television. His feature credits include the upcoming Underwater for Fox. He recently adapted Clint Romasha’s bestselling memoir Red Platoon for Sony Pictures. Cozad is repped by ICM Partners, Gotham Group and MFW.
Krieger recently directed the pilots for the CW’s Riverdale and the upcoming Life Sentence. He is repped by UTA and Anonymous Content.