What’s your favorite video game movie? Mortal Kombat? Street Fighter? Both were awesomely bad, yet I can’t help but watch when they’re on TV. How can you turn the channel when Van Damme’s Guile is giving a rousing speech?
On a serious note, Ubisoft is trying to make a pair of good movies. We know all about Assassin’s Creed starring Michael Fassbender. Today, the video game publisher announced Jessica Chastain will join Jake Gyllenhaal in the movie adaptation for The Division.
What is The Division about?
For the non-gamers, The Division takes place in New York City. It’s Black Friday. Everyone is beating the shit out of one another for a cheap TV or towels. But this Black Friday is different. A disastrous pandemic sweeps through the city. In a matter of days, basic services fail and the city descends into chaos. And that’s where The Division comes in.
They are “a classified unit of self-supported tactical agents.” Before they were activated, they lived regular lives. But once called on, they all turn into Jack Bauer. Their mission? To kick ass and maintain order. And the city’s all out of order.
Ubisoft hints at what direction The Division movie will take in their announcement. “The pandemic-stricken streets of The Division are filled with countless stories of love, loss, treachery, and heroism, but we’ll have to wait to find out what avenues the film will explore.”
The setting is a solid one. And there’s a market for movies about society falling into chaos. Just look at The Purge and World War Z.
Ubisoft’s big push towards the silver screen
Ubisoft isn’t messing around. They see their properties as more than just video games. The Assassin’s Creed movie isn’t even out yet, and they are already pushing full steam ahead with The Division movie.
You might be wondering how Ubisoft is pulling in top Hollywood talent to star in their movies. It helps that Ubisoft Motion Pictures is giving a lot of control to the actors. For The Division, Chastain and Gyllenhaal will play major roles in shaping the film in the development process through their production companies – Freckle Films (Chastain) and Nine Stories (Gyllenhaal).
A similar deal was made with Michael Fassbender. He not only stars in Assassin’s Creed but is also a producer.
No word on when The Division is expected to release, but it does tell us that Ubisoft considers the game one of its top franchises. Hitting more than $330 million in sales the first five days tends to do that.
With Ubisoft seemingly going all-in on movie adaptations, I want Splinter Cell. The last we heard, Tom Hardy is still attached to star in the film. But news on it has been slim in recent months.
I’m crossing my fingers for Assassin’s Creed and The Division to be hits. If other publishers see the potential, they’ll start adapting their franchises. And we need a Halo movie. Even if the folks at Xbox just give Blur Studio a few Brinks trucks.
Do you think Ubisoft can break the trend of lackluster video game movies? Let me know in the comments.