David Leitch is adapting the video game thriller The Division, and Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain are starring!
Deadpool 2 isn’t even out yet, but David Leitch is keeping himself busy. The John Wick co-director and solo helmer of Atomic Blonde already has his next project lined up—a Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham spinoff of the Fast and the Furious movies—but he is already looking to the future and at the prospect of working with some really quality talent in what may be the next, best hope for a truly good video game movie adaptation. One of these days…
The project is called The Division, a take on a newly popular video game released by Ubisoft on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and eye-catchingly, it looks to star Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal. While neither is a stranger to action movies—Gyllenhaal even has the dubious honor of starring in one of the “better” video game movies to date, 2010’s largely forgotten Prince of Persia—both are also Oscar nominees with a dense track work of captivating and well-selected projects, especially in recent years. So already this sounds a cut above what audiences usually suspect from video game cinema, right?
As according to Variety, The Division has been set-up by Ubisoft Motion Pictures and now by the 8711 production company, a label run by producers Leitch and Kelly McCormack. They also are joining Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker’s Nine Stories and Chastain and Kelly Carmichael’s Freckles Films as producing partners on the project.
The Division is a recent bestselling video game set in a post-apocalyptic scenario where a deadly virus is spread, humorously enough, by money infected with bad blood during a Black Friday. This has seemingly brought about the end of the world. It’s thus up to a group of civilians with training for catastrophic crises to save lives in the ruins of New York City.
This sounds slightly more dramatic than the next Leitch film that will beat it to the screen, which presumably will feature a lot of one-liners between Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. However, this makes sense given that Gyellenhaal and Chastain’s most recent and somber work includes dramatic turns in films like Nightcrawler, Southpaw, and Stronger, and The Zookeeper’s Wife, Molly’s Game, and Woman Walks Ahead. However, Chastain is at least branching out into more franchise work with upcoming appearances in X-Men: Dark Phoenix and It: Chapter Two.
And for Leitch, this is not bad for a guy who a few years ago was coordinating the stunts for Jupiter Ascending and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.