David Leitch is becoming one of the busiest filmmakers in town. After first making an impact as a stunt coordinator and second unit director on films like The Bourne Ultimatum and Captain America: Civil War, Leitch made the move to co-director on 2014’s John Wick. He was subsequently tapped to take the helm of Deadpool 2 solo while also directing the Charlize Theron actioner Atomic Blonde, and now Ubisoft has tapped Leitch to helm their highly anticipated The Division movie based on the video game of the same name.
Tom Clancy’s The Division was released on game consoles in 2016 and quickly became Ubisoft’s best-selling game ever, generating an estimated $330 million globally in just the first week of release. The game is set in New York City during the aftermath of a smallpox pandemic, and the player portrays an agent of the Strategic Homeland Division who is tasked with helping to rebuild the Division’s operations in a near-deserted and crime-riddled Manhattan, investigating the nature of the outbreak and combatting a bevy of criminals along the way.
The same year the game was released, Ubisoft set about casting up the film adaptation by securing Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain in the lead roles, who would then help develop the film as well. Gold and Syriana filmmaker Stephen Gaghan subsequently signed on to direct, but he’s no longer attached as Variety reports that Leitch is now taking the helm of The Division movie.
The Division won’t be Leitch’s next movie, however. That honor goes to the Fast and Furious spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, which starts shooting later this year. The hope is that Leitch will then move on to begin prepping The Division in 2019, but then of course there’s also the prospect of Fox wanting to keep him in the fold for a future Deadpool sequel, and he’s simultaneously developing ideas for an Atomic Blonde sequel. Talk about a meteoric rise.