Bringing in someone known for their arthouse fare (Justin Kurzel) for its last stab at a game adaptation (Assassin's Creed) didn't necessarily pay huge dividends for Ubisoft, but it's trying again, hiring Syriana's Stephen Gaghan for The Division, which has Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain in the main roles.
Gaghan taking the gig also comes as a surprise, but he appears to be enthusiastic about tackling something very different from the likes of his most recent job Gold. “I’m excited to work with Ubisoft Motion Pictures and collaborate with their team at Massive Entertainment to bring The Division to the big screen. They’re great guys, exceptionally creative, and willing to take risks,” Gaghan says in a statement carried by Variety. “The game has been an enormous success, in large part due to the visual landscape they created, their vision of a mid-apocalyptic Manhattan. It’s immersive, wonderfully strange, and yet familiar, filled with possibilities. It’s also remarkable to be able to collaborate with Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal early in the process. We all feel the story Ubisoft created is more relevant than ever.”
The film will adapt the popular shooter title, set in a dangerous New York in the wake of a massive smallpox epidemic. In the various missions, you must work as part of the Strategic Homeland Division to rebuild its operations in the Big Apple, track down the cause of the outbreak and fight crime that pops up in the city.
Gaghan and his cast will aim for a 2018 release date and Ubisoft will be hoping for some better reviews, even if Assassin's Creed managed to do some business at the box office.
As for Gold, that will be out on 3 February.