It’s only been a few days since we told you that Jake Gyllenhaal would be re-teaming with Prisoners and Enemy director Denis Villeneuve for a third collaboration, but the actor is already lining up another project that will see him once again headlining a videogame adaptation. Variety reports that Gyllenhaal has just signed on for a big screen version of The Division, the recently-released tactical shooter from Ubisoft that has already become the fastest-selling game in the studio’s long history.
Boasting sales of more than $330 million in its first five days of release, The Division takes place in a dystopian version of New York in the aftermath of a smallpox epidemic. Agents of the Strategic Homeland Division – from which the game derives its title – are tasked with investigating the cause of the outbreak and putting down the rising criminal element in the ruined city.
Ubisoft is hoping to find a foothold in the film industry with this year’s Assassin’s Creed, a large-scale sci-fi adventure starring Michael Fassbender that Fox will release this holiday season, and a Tom Hardy-led version of Splinter Cell over at Paramount which has been languishing in development hell for the past few years. Ubisoft will look to add at least one other big name to The Division before shopping it around to studios, but sources also say that Gyllenhaal will produce the film and that a writer for the project is currently being sought.
This actually marks Gyllenhaal’s second project with Ubisoft – he previously starred in Disney’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, another Ubisoft adaptation that went on to become the highest-grossing video game movie yet, despite being a critical disappointment. Since then, Gyllenhaal has mostly steered clear of tentpoles, opting for smaller projects like Nightcrawler and Demolition, but a strong showing here could open up plenty of options for future projects.
We’ll keep you posted on this as it continues to develop. In the meantime, if you want to check out the source material, The Division is currently available for PS4, Xbox One and Windows PC platforms.
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