David Leitch on ‘The Division’, What Happened to ‘Rain’, and His Involvement with ‘John Wick’ Sequels

     May 24, 2018

After John Wick, filmmaker David Leitch became a very, very busy man. The former stunt coordinator and second-unit-director co-directed John Wick with his collaborator Chad Stahelski, but after that film went it alone with his solo debut Atomic Blonde. That in turn led to Leitch signing on to direct Deadpool 2, and now the filmmaker has a litany of projects lined up.

Next for Leitch is the Hobbs/Shaw Fast & Furious spinoff, but he’s also set to direct the video game adaptation The Division, so when Collider’s Steve Weintraub spoke with Leitch at the press day for Deadpool 2, he asked the director what drew him to The Division:

“It was the world. I think the world that those artists created is really compelling, obviously for people who love the game but for people who even—just a cursory look at the artwork and the immersive quality, it’s pretty amazing. I think it also asks some interesting questions about society and putting people in those interesting positions. For me, I thought that was a cool playground.”

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Image via Ubisoft

The video game movie curse has yet to be broken, so is that something that concerns Leitch when it comes to The Division? Not particularly:

“I mean yes and no. They’re two different experiences. Obviously the video game you’re telling your own story and it’s so active, and cinema is all about one person’s point of view guiding a story, you’re telling a story. I think sometimes those things are in conflict, but on a project like The Division again it’s like there’s these bigger themes in there that you can pull one out and attach some great characters to and you can have a compelling story, and also given the trappings of the world that people love, I think you can deliver a good movie.”

Leitch says The Division is still in development (Stephen Gaghan was previously attached to write and direct), but also says the film isn’t exactly on the backburner:

“We’re still developing the script and the producers are looking for writers and it’s sort of like we’re aggressively moving forward. We’re all fired up to do it, but it’s just getting on the same page… It could be [in the immediate future]. I like the idea of working with Jake and Jessica and that’s really interesting to me, so who wouldn’t want to aggressively move forward and find a point of view on it and dig in? So it could be, I hope so.”

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Image via Lionsgate

The film clearly won’t be Leitch’s next project as he’ll be busy with the Hobbs/Shaw movie for the next year, but it’s possible The Division could follow pretty quickly.

As for other projects, in the wake of John Wick, Leitch and Stahelski were set to head to the world of TV with an adaptation of Rain starring Keanu Reeves. Leitch says for a variety of reasons, that project is now stalled:

“We had it set up for a while and I think it just got complicated for a lot of different reasons. Not only is shooting in Tokyo logistically hard, scheduling was hard, finances were hard, sometimes projects get so far and then they stall for reasons you can’t even understand. So it may come back, we’ll see. It still exists, but it was a hard one to put together for many reasons… Maybe it comes back, but it’s also a huge commitment. We wanted to do it as a series that moves forward, and with Keanu’s schedule, Chad and my’s schedule—we wanted to direct it all—how do you get everyone to meet at any given time?”

Indeed, and Chad is now busy spearheading the John Wick franchise, with John Wick: Chapter 3 currently in production. So how involved is Leitch in the series? He says he still consults a bit, but those films are very much in Stahelski’s hands now:

“I’m sort of on the outside a little bit. Chad and I talk all the time but it’s really Chad’s baby right now, and he’s been developing the last two with writers and it’s been counsel here and there, but they’re definitely his babies.”

After all, Leitch’s hands are incredibly full at the moment.

For more from Steve’s interview with David Leitch:

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