Jake Gyllenhaal (Southpaw, Nightcrawler) and Ubisoft are looking to make a film based on their recent hit video game, The Division.
I cannot imagine why.
I’m a fan of The Division. With friends, it’s an absolute blast to jump into the dark zone and Ubisoft’s updates have been stellar. Yet, in my list of top 100 reasons why I enjoy The Division, the story, would never be brought up.
Ubisoft may disagree, but with the Assassin’s Creed movie on the horizon, it is clear they have interest in the movie industry. I get it, The Division is a big deal. It’s Ubisoft’s fastest selling title and they want to make it a franchise, fast. The Division movie has not landed a studio, nor has it signed a writer, but I can’t wait to see what they do with the property.
The Division’s story is forgettable, it plays second fiddle to semi-repetitive quests, getting new loot and various other RPG elements. The instances are not presented in a cinematic way, often times you only interact with characters through audio communications. This is not Nathan Drake’s emotional adventure in the new Uncharted game. This isn’t even the bland plot of Ubisoft’s Watch_Dogs. The story in The Division is there to serve a tone and offer context for the game. It rarely serves the player in any meaningful way.
That’s all fine and good for a game, but do we really need another movie set in a post-apocalyptic New York City? A talented screenwriter and director could surely put together a good story in this universe, and Gyllenhaal is a hell of an actor. A movie, simply seems in service of Ubisoft rather than fans of their big new franchise. The Division fans don’t want this, this is not what they love about the game, nor what they want the world to see from it.
The Division movie feels like an obvious play at a relatively unexplored demographic in movies—gamers. Time will tell if the concept has some real passion behind it.
Stay tuned for updates on The Division movie, and until then, let’s see how Assassin’s Creed does this winter.