Oscar-winning writer/director Stephen Gaghan is set to direct the cinematic adaptation of the dystopian video game “The Division,” Variety reports. The film will also star Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal, who were previously attached.
“The Division” follows the story of agents of the Strategic Homeland Division who monitor Manhattan following a smallpox outbreak, defending the city against the rise in criminal activity, as well as trying to uncover the mystery of the outbreak.
Gaghan’s latest film “Gold,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez, and Bryce Dallas Howard, has yet to have a wide release, during its limited domestic run, it garnered lukewarm response from critics. That being said, Gaghan is a two-time Oscar nominated screenwriter, and he won the prize in 2001 for the critically acclaimed “Traffic.” This makes “The Division” an intriguing project, especially with stars such as Chastain and Gyllenhaal attached.
Variety also notes that Ubisoft will be shopping the project to studios, which it previously did for the still-in-development video game adaptation, “Splinter Cell,” with Tom Hardy attached to star for New Regency and Fox.
Video game adaptations have been somewhat on the rise recently, such as with 2016’s “Assassin’s Creed,” another video game adaptation by an indie-leaning director with potential in Justin Kurzel, which also featured two mega stars: Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. “Creed” did not perform well with critics, audiences, or at the box office, however, while last summer’s “Warcraft” was equally panned (though did have some success financially during its international release).
Could “The Division” break the trend of mediocre video game adaptations? With the talent the film has assembled, they are certainly on the right track.
“The Division” is set for a 2018 release.