Last month, we learned that Jake Gyllenhaal had signed on to produce and star in a big screen adaptation of The Division, the smash hit tactical shooter from game developer Ubisoft. Now it sounds like the project will be getting an extra dose of star power, with THR reporting that two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain is in talks to join the film.
The fastest-selling title in the studio’s history with more than $330 million in sales during its first week 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.
Much like their previous film endeavors, Ubisoft Motion Pictures is putting together an attractive package before they begin approaching studios. This same strategy was employed for Assassin’s Creed, with Michael Fassbender attached before the project was greenlit at Fox, and also for Splinter Cell, which is currently set up at Paramount with Tom Hardy signed on.
Scheduled for release in December, Assassin’s Creed will be the first major test for Ubisoft’s Hollywood aspirations. Having a major star and a critically acclaimed director attached is a huge advantage, but hitting theaters one week after the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story could spell box office doom, especially when recalling how dominant The Force Awakens turned out to be during the same release window last year.
Meanwhile, there’s no word yet on what sort of role Chastain will be taking on in The Division, and the project will likely remain without a writer or director until a studio agreement has been reached. We’ll continue to update you on this film as more details become available, and if you’re curious about the source material, the video game version of The Division is currently available on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
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