Just Cause Movie Will Bring Video Game Chaos To Live-Action, Blue Beetle Director On Board

A long-awaited video game adaptation now has new life. Universal Pictures has officially boarded the "Just Cause" movie, and the studio has some impressive talent behind the camera to make the project a reality. That starts with director Ángel Manuel Soto, best known for directing the DC superhero movie "Blue Beetle." The project has also added "The Fall Guy" director David Leitch and his producing partner (and wife) Kelly McCormick on board as producers with their company, 87North.

Universal has a longstanding relationship with Leitch, as the filmmaker made "Hobbs & Shaw" for the studio before stepping behind the camera for "The Fall Guy." He also very nearly directed the new "Jurassic World" film before Gareth Edwards took over. 87North has a first-look deal with the studio, so this partnership makes sense. Dmitri M. Johnson, Mike Goldberg, and Timothy I. Stevenson are also on board as producers. As for Soto, he has an eye for crowd-pleasing action, and "Blue Beetle" proved he could do that on a larger scale. That will be needed to bring this story to life.

For those who may not be familiar, "Just Cause" is a series of action/adventure games created by Avalanche Studios, with the first entry hitting shelves in 2006. We've had three sequels, with "Just Cause 4" arriving in 2018. The games feature a Hispanic lead character, as well as truly over-the-top action. The synopsis for the first game reads as follows:

In "Just Cause," you are a Latin field operative and specialist in regime change backed by top secret US government agency who will overthrow the corrupt government of San Esperito. The rogue South American state is suspected of stockpiling Weapons of Mass Destruction, and it's your mission to negate the threat this poses to world peace. It could be to your advantage that the tropical paradise is about to implode as various factions vie for power – it just needs a gentle nudge in the right direction.

The Just Cause movie has been a long time coming

This project has been a very, very long time coming. Back in 2017, "San Andreas" director Brad Peyton signed on for a version of the film that would have starred Jason Momoa, of "Aquaman" fame. Momoa has since become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, and when he signed on for the film, it was before "Aquaman" became a $1 billion hit. Things have changed dramatically.

In 2019, "John Wick" writer Derek Kolstad penned a version of the screenplay when Peyton was still on board. That was before the pandemic slowed everything down in Hollywood for months on end, which certainly hit this potential version of the project. Michael Dowse ("Stuber") was also being eyed to take the director's chair at one point. It seems Universal has a team firmly in place and intends to finally, actually, get this thing made.

One of the key differences between then and now is Hollywood has finally kind of cracked the video game movie curse. Films like "Sonic the Hedgehog" and "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," among others, have truly worked for the masses. Gone are the days when it was presumed that a video game movie would be trash. On TV, things are arguably even better with shows like "The Last of Us" garnering widespread acclaim. So, in some ways, it might be better that this one spent some time in development hell. We'll see how things shake out as development rolls along.

The "Just Cause" movie does not currently have a release date.