It’s been six and a half years since Variety first reported that a The Division movie was in production starring iconic actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko, Brokeback Mountain, Prisoners’ Nightcrawler, Southpaw, Nocturnal Animals, Spider-Man: Far From Home). Gyllenhaal is also set to produce.
Just a month later, we learned that Jessica Chastain (Interstellar, The Martian, Zero Dark Thirty, The Help, Miss Sloane, Molly’s Game, Ava, The Nurse) will star in The Division alongside Gyllenhaal. In early 2017, Ubisoft said the film would be written and directed by Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Gold, Syriana), though that changed in 2018 when Variety said The Division would be directed by David Leitch (John Wick, Atomic Blonde, Deadpool) 2, Fast & Furious: Hobbs and Shaw, Bullet Train).
It’s late 2022 now, however, and the movie is still nowhere to be seen. The reason is discussed by Kelly McCormick (wife and co-owner of David Leitch at 87 North Productions) in a new interview with Film Discussion.
To be honest, when COVID hit, we left The Division because it felt like a documentary. You know, in the sense that the story deals with this outbreak that’s happening in real time, and the dangers that’s going on, and the anxiety that’s creating. It was like, “Whoa, this isn’t fun anymore.” Like, we’ve all had to go through this in real life. I think we can find love for him again. It’s a great property and what you can do with pictures of the team of agents coming in with these kind of really awful possibilities is really amazing, but we actually left it because we got away from COVID. I heard it was kind of on the back burner, but I don’t know for sure.
We already know Rawson Marshall Thurber (Skyscraper, Red Notice) is the next director Netflix has chosen for the project after Leitch’s departure. However, Leach was originally supposed to remain a producer. On top of that, the director may already be busy with other projects, including a sequel to the hugely successful Red Notice, helming a Dungeons and Dragons TV series, and also directing a live-action Voltron movie.
The status of The Division remains unclear at a time when video game adaptations are on the rise. Ubisoft is also working on a TV series based on Assassin’s Creed, Driver, and Skull & Bones.