Stephen Gaghan, who recently directed Matthew McConaughey in Gold, is officially attached to write and direct the film adaptation of the popular video game The Division. Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal will star.
The Division is set in a near future dystopian New York City, in the aftermath of a smallpox pandemic. In the video game, the player acts as an agent of the Strategic Homeland Division, commonly referred to as simply “The Division”. The player is tasked with helping the group rebuild its operations in the city, as well as investigate the nature of the outbreak and fight criminal activity.
Although the video game is a first-person shooter game, the film has the potential to touch on global humanitarian issues, and could have a social commentary. This is fitting for Gaghan given his background in political films, such as the 1999 film Traffic (for which he won Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards) and the 2005 film Syriana starring George Clooney (which he wrote/directed).
Gaghan had this to say regarding the film:
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. 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.
A decade ago, Gaghan turned down the opportunity to write the adaption of Dan’s Brown’s The DaVinci Code. Along with his feature film credits, Gaghan has written for tv series such as American Gothic and The Practice. He also won an Emmy in 1996 for c0-writing an NYPD Blue episode.
In the coming years, look for Gaghan to be involved in quite a few films, including directing the adaptation of the book Blink:The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell, as well as writing the film adaptation of the book Dead Spy Running by Jon Stock.