Netflix has picked up the Tom Clancy's The Division video game movie adaptation. Launched in 2016, the original game follows a special government agent as they navigate Manhattan in the wake of a deadly pandemic virus and attempt to restore order. Ubisoft announced plans to adapt the property for the big screen just a few months after its debut, but the project has been slower to move forward since then. In the meantime, a sequel game (Tom Clancy's The Division 2) was put into production and released on multiple platforms back in March.
Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal are the only cast members who've signed on for The Division movie so far and have remained attached for the last few years, despite its prolonged development. Original director Stephen Gaghan (Gold) left the project during that time, but was replaced by Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2 helmer David Leitch about a year ago. There hasn't been much in the way of progress to report about the film since then - though that changed today, following Ubisoft's panel at the 2019 E3 conference.
According to The Wrap, Netflix confirmed it's acquired The Division film adaptation at E3 today. It's a big purchase for the streaming service, seeing as the property became the fastest-selling new video game IP in history when it originally launched. Presumably, the company will want to get the ball rolling on filming within the next six to twelve months, setting The Division on-course for a late 2020 or early 2021 premiere date.
Of course, The Division has more working for it than its popular source material. Chastain and Gyllenhaal are talented character actors who tend to shine in everything from big blockbusters to personal indie dramas. They've appeared in their share of misfires too (Chastain's coming off Dark Phoenix, after all), but are generally known for having excellent taste in film roles. The Division's premise also lends itself well to Leitch, who's quickly gone from leading a decorated career as a stunt coordinator to an impressive run as an action movie director in recent years. He's similarly demonstrated versatility when it comes to different types of action sub-genres too, between his work on the spy thriller Atomic Blonde and superhero action-comedy sequel Deadpool 2. This summer's Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, which he directed, is likewise shaping up to be a hit on multiple fronts.
For Netflix, The Division gives them another promising addition to their slate of future genre offerings. The service has enjoyed a good deal of success making rom-coms and awards fare of late, and hopes to continue that streak with upcoming films like Martin Scorsese's The Irishman (which arrives in the fall). At the same time, they've started to expand and tackle more expensive, spectacle-fueled ventures of late. Along with The Division, Netflix currently has Zack Snyder's zombie heist movie Army of the Dead and Michael Bay's action-thriller 6 Underground in the pipeline. Who knows: with a catalog like that, they may yet become a contender in the blockbuster arena.
Source: The Wrap