Spinning videogames into cinematic gold hasn’t exactly been easy. Sorry to fans of Super Mario Bros., Bloodrayne, Hitman, Street Fighter and Doom, but those films unequivocally suck. They’re bottomless pits of failure that should never be explored. Even the “better” videogame films, such as Max Payne or Silent Hill, are deeply flawed.
But still that doesn’t stop film companies from trying to get the formula right. In fact, Ubisoft Motion Pictures (an armature of the game company) is currently developing five feature films based off of their games, including Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell with Tom Hardy, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon with Michael Bay, and Rabbids, Watch Dogs and Tom Clancy’s The Division with Academy Award nominees Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain.
The last of those, Tom Clancy’s The Division, focuses on an near-apocalyptic New York City where small pox is ravaging the Big Apple around the Black Friday shopping season and total urban warfare has broken out. The game’s central mission is to lead an agent from the titular organization into the chaos and quell it.
Shaping that mission into movie form will be the task of Syriana director and Traffic screenwriter Stephen Gaghan. Gaghan, who won an Academy Award for Traffic, seems to believe in the potential of the adaptation in part because of the game’s “immersive, wonderfully strange” world that is “filled with possibilities.”
The adaptation, tentatively titled The Division, is still in the early stages, but based on the principals, it sounds promising. Of course, that was the thought for Assassin’s Creed as well, so only time will tell.