Jake Gyllenhaal, undeterred by his last outing in a film based on a Ubisoft video game, is attached to produce and star in a big screen adaptation of THE DIVISION. Gyllenhaal’s last foray into this territory was the Disney misfire known as PRINCE OF PERSIA. That film came out on Memorial Day weekend in 2010, and only managed to come in third- behind SHREK FOREVER AFTER and SEX AND THE CITY 2, while on its way to a subpar $336 million worldwide haul that all-but insured that the film wouldn’t lead to the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN-style franchise Disney hoped it would.
Regardless of that, Gyllenhaal is back in business with Ubisoft, and THE DIVISION will be based on the studio’s fastest-selling game ever. The Tom Clancy game, which made the developer $330 million in just five days, is set in a dystopian New York City that’s been ravaged by a smallpox outbreak. Gyllenhaal will conceivably play the main character, who leads a task force that goes into the city in an attempt to rebuild the Strategic Homeland Division‘s operations, find survivors, and deal with the criminal activity that has overtaken the Big Apple- all while investigating the source of the outbreak.
We don’t know for sure how closely the film will follow the game since, as of now, there’s no script. Ubisoft is currently on the hunt for a writer, and possibly another A-list star. Once they’ve got the right package put together, they’ll then move on to shopping the project to all of the major studios.
The developer currently has ASSASSIN’S CREED set up over at Fox. The early buzz is that AC may be at the vanguard of a new wave of successful video game adaptations. While games jumping to the big screen have notoriously been hit-or-miss, there’s plenty of chatter that ASSASSIN’S CREED will do for game adaptations what Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY did for comic book adaptations, by making them respectable, profitable, and finding that sweet spot between pleasing gamers and bringing in casual audiences.
With that sort of buzz, it’s no wonder Ubisoft wants to get THE DIVISION up and running in order to capitalize on the anticipated buzz ASSASSIN’S CREED will create when it comes out in December.
All of this comes on the heels of news that video game giant Nintendo is looking to aggressively enter the movie business as well. It really looks like we’re on the verge of a golden age of game adaptations, as studios start giving them the same kind of attention and resources that they give to comic book movies. We must remember that superhero movies had a very bumpy path on their way towards consistent prominence, with more misses than hits, until Hollywood finally started getting them right. Could video games be next?
What do you think of THE DIVISION coming to the big screen? And how about Jake Gyllenhaal returning to this realm with Ubisoft? Sound off below, and share the hell out of this piece to see what your gamer friends feel about the potential for a video game movie revolution!
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