The news comes just months after it was announced that he’s also on board to direct the “Fast and Furious” spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Sources stress that the Universal spinoff will shoot first, as that film is already set to go into production this fall, and the hope is that Leitch would move on to prep “The Division” some time in 2019.
“Gold” director Stephen Gaghan was previously attached to helm the video game adaptation, but has since left the project.
Leitch’s producing partner, Kelly McCormick, will produce along with Leitch through their 87Eleven banner, as well as Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker of Nine Stories and Chastain and Kelly Carmichael of Freckle Films alongside Ubisoft Motion Pictures.
Based on the best-selling video game, the story is set in a near future where a pandemic virus is spread via paper money on Black Friday, decimating New York City and killing millions. By Christmas, what’s left of society has descended into chaos. A group of civilians, trained to operate in catastrophic times, is activated in an attempt to save who and what remains.
Developed and published by Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment with assistance from Red Storm Entertainment, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, the third-person shooter quickly became the fastest-selling new IP in video game history after its initial launch. Ubisoft recently announced that the game reached the milestone of 20 million players and a sequel is in development with more details to be unveiled at E3 next month.
Gyllenhaal and Chastain have been with the film project since its conception and have been persistent in making sure that it matches the tone of the video game, while also reaching audiences who appreciate the actors’ own past work.
As for Leitch, the stunt coordinator-turned-director has been a rising star on the action scene after he and his stunt partner, Chad Stahelski, broke out with the cult hit “John Wick.” Stahelski took the reins for “John Wick 2” as Leitch moved on to the Charlize Theron action movie “Atomic Blonde,” the film that helped land him the job of “Deadpool 2” after that sequel lost its director.
The early buzz around “Deadpool 2” proved so impressive that Johnson aggressively pursued Leitch for his “Fast and Furious” spinoff before the in-demand director could land his next film.
Leitch is repped by WME and attorney Tara Kole.