The Division film is currently moving ahead at full steam. Thus far, the film has acquired a director, writer, well-known cast, and, most recently, a spot at Netflix. The news comes still lacking any solid details about the script or overall plan for the film’s story.
So far, the film will have David Leitch as director, well-known for his work on Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde. The script is being written by Rafe Judkins who has worked on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Wheel of Time.
Films adapted from video games are generally cursed to under perform at the box office and in terms of critical reception. Although this upcoming film is, strictly speaking, a video game adaptation, that may not be an issue when considering the source material.
In many ways, The Division is another one of Tom Clancy’s stories, which are widely popular and have been made into some well-received films in the past, including The Sum of All Fears from 2002, Clear and Present Danger from 1994, Patriot Games from 1992, The Hunt for Red October from 1990, and the Jack Ryan film series.
With both Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain attached to the project, there is serious potential for a well-made film that explores contemporary issues within the game’s main story. As the game factors in both modern-day terrorism and the potential fall of the United States through a series of bioterrorist attacks, there is plenty of room for an engaging narrative in the film adaptation.
It is also important to note that, while in years past, a Netflix only release would be similar to a direct-to-DVD release, which would not bode well for the quality of a project, or at least indicate that a studio has no faith in a large-scale box office release, this is not the case today.
Netflix is on par with other platforms to release films, as is evidenced by many movies available on the service. For example, despite the pleas of certain influential directors like Steven Spielberg contending that films released on the streaming platform should not be worthy of Oscar recognition, Roma won at last year’s award show.
As far as the story goes for The Division, no details have been released yet, but we can take an educated guess considering the source material. In the fictional world of The Division, or, for more familiarity, The Division 2, the world has changed seven months after the “Dollar Flu” was released in New York City.
People became ill, mass evacuations took place, and armed groups of criminals and factions began fighting for control of the major cities while the government was in disorder. Some factions, like the True Sons, are paramilitary warlords who wish to expand their territory around Washington D.C.
Players take on the role of Division agents, who launch a counter measure with a Civilian Militia to recapture the capital. Thus, it is at this point that the catalyst would be activated for the film's protagonists to take action.
So, will The Division film break away from the tragic curse most video game adaptations face, or will it tumble into the same depths of despair as Super Mario Bros. from 1993? Only the audience will be able to adjudicate that once it releases on Netflix.