Director David Leitch knows how to keep busy. In 2017 he had Atomic Blonde, last year he had Deadpool 2, and now he has Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. With the schedule that he keeps, Steve Weintraub made sure to ask at the Hobbs & Shaw press day what Leitch has on the horizon. The director provided a fairly comprehensive look at the hurdles it takes to get something like The Division in front of cameras:
“There are a few projects I’m attached to. There’s Undying Love, which is a graphic novel I’ve loved for a long time. Tommy Wirkola has gotten through the first draft, who is a really good friend and I think a really good writer and perfect for it, so we’re working our way through that material. We have The Division, which is an incredible property. Two great actors and producers on it—Jake [Gyllenhaal] and Jessica [Chastain]—we’re awaiting a script on it, and there’s a lot of people involved with that one, creative producers and actors, who have input on the script and then they have schedules, so we’ll see how that’s all going. For things to come together when these attachments happen it’s usually a miracle in a sense. But I think there is a motivation from Netflix and from Jake and Jessica and myself to make it happen. And as the material comes together, is it the movie we all want to make and are excited about? And hopefully it is. We all loved the pitch and we all loved that world.”
For those who don’t understand why directors attach themselves to numerous projects, this is it. You never know how scheduling is going to come together, especially when you’ve got A-list actors like Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain on board to star and to produce, so you also need a script that’s going to make everyone happy. It makes sense to be attached to multiple projects so you can keep working rather than waiting for the stars to align.
The Division has the added hurdle of being based on a video game, and those adaptations always seem to struggle. That being said, The Division has a pretty strong premise. The story is set in the near future where a pandemic virus is spread via paper money on Black Friday, decimating the city of New York and killing millions. By Christmas, what’s left of society has descended into chaos. A group of civilians, trained to operate in catastrophic times, are activated in an attempt to save who and what remains.
It will be interesting to see how quickly they can get this project in front of cameras, or if Leitch will go off and do Undying Love or another project first.