Deadpool 2 helmer David Leitch has been attached to direct a feature adaptation of the popular Ubisoft video game The Division ever since April 2018, but Collider recently learned that the ever-busy Leitch has stepped aside to simply produce the Netflix film, which will now be directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, the man behind the streamer’s upcoming blockbuster Red Notice.
The Division is a high-priority project for Netflix, which has Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain attached to both star and produce. It’s described as a post-apocalyptic action-thriller set in a future where a virus is spread via paper money on Black Friday, decimating the city of New York. By Christmas, what’s left of society has descended into chaos. A group of civilians, trained to operate in catastrophic times, are activated to save who and what remains.
While Rafe Judkins (Wheel of Time) was hired to work on the script when Leitch was directing The Division, Thurber will now co-write the script from scratch with Ellen Shanman, and he’ll also produce via his company Bad Version.
Leitch will remain involved with The Division as a producer via his 87North banner, along with Ubisoft Film and Television and the movie’s two leads via their respective companies Nine Stories (Gyllenhaal) and Freckle Films (Chastain).
Tom Clancy’s The Division quickly became the fastest-selling new IP in video game history when it first launched. Meanwhile, The Division 2 launched to strong reviews in March 2019 and continues to provide players with new content on an ongoing basis.
It makes sense that Netflix would want to stay in business with Thurber after Red Notice, which stars Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds. Thurber previously worked with Johnson on Skyscraper and Central Intelligence, and his other credits include the comedies Dodgeball and We’re the Millers. Thurber is represented by WME.