‘Deus Ex: Human Revolution’ Video Game Adaptation Lands ‘Sinister’ Director

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Deus Ex Movie Sinister Director Deus Ex: Human Revolution Video Game Adaptation Lands Sinister Director

Fans of cyberpunk, near-future espionage and action have yet another film in development to look forward to, as CBS Films confirmed today that Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) will direct the big screen adaptation of the videogame Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Derrickson will also be co-writing the script with C. Robert Cargill (Sinister).

Human Revolution, the most recent entry in the videogame franchise, may not have received the publicity push that Assassin’s Creed 3 did, but the project still holds some of the most potential out of the current games destined for adaptations.

In case Derrickson’s track record of tense, disturbing horror films doesn’t seem to have much in common with the cyberpunk future, or any video game series for that matter, it’s worth noting that the themes explored may be right up his alley. Derrickson explains:

“‘Deus Ex’ is a phenomenal cyberpunk game with soul and intelligence…By combining amazing action and tension with big, philosophical ideas, ‘Deus Ex’ is smart, ballsy, and will make one hell of a movie. Cargill and I can’t wait to bring it to the big screen.”

Deus Ex Human Revolution Adam Jensen Deus Ex: Human Revolution Video Game Adaptation Lands Sinister Director

‘Deus Ex: Human Revolution’ protagonist Adam Jensen

Futuristic biotechnology is nothing particularly new to the science fiction genre, but one of the strongest points of Human Revolution – the game the film will most directly be based on – is the setting; and the ‘big philosophical ideas’ Derrickson alludes to. Our cohorts at Game Rant named the story one of the best of 2011, but even so, the premise itself is one that could manage to be both entertaining and culturally relevant on celluloid.

Set in a grounded future of 2027, the world’s interest in technological innovation has spun out of control. The Detroit-based Sarif Industries battles with Shanghai’s Tai Yong Medical for control of the human augmentation industry, replacing body parts and organs with ‘improved’ versions.  What had once started with restoring limbs for amputeets or sight to the blind became a slippery slope that proved to difficult to police, giving rise to poverty, suffering, and violent protests.

That’s the focus of developer Eidos Montreal’s “Purity First’ live-action trailer:

The mix of corporate espionage and notions of ‘humanity’ are fertile ground for fans of speculative fiction, but the special effects and action will likely attract the average moviegoers’s attention, as well. If the film is built around the main character of the videogame, Adam Jensen – an ex-SWAT operative who undergoes extensive augmentations (read: gun-arms) to root out hired killers from the competition – then marketing the visual style and potential for action scenes shouldn’t prove too difficult.

But the game’s basis as a stealth shooter makes the selection of Derrickson even more curious. With a flare for taut, disturbing drama and horror, Derrickson stands out, but a passing glance at the three Canadian-developed game adaptations shows interesting differences. Ubisoft Motion Pictures has wasted no time gaining attention for their Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell projects, signing leading men and writers to get development moving.

Eidos and CBS Films, on the other hand, have gone with a director first, and an unexpected one at that. Luckily, Deus Ex: Human Evolution is a video game adaptation with a story that’s easier to predict, as it will no doubt be largely derived from the videogame of the same name.

For anyone who doubts that the story and protagonist could compete with the other major franchises being adapted, Eidos Montreal’s first cinematic trailer still impresses, while also giving an idea of what to expect:

Given Derrickson’s skill for tasteful and refreshing horror – and the ability to make even found-footage surprising in the case of Sinister - it’s possible the film’s producers truly are planning on exploring more than just the espionage and gunplay. That’s optimistic, but it certainly implies that the Deus Ex movie will have a cohesive vision where directing, writing, and potential casting are concerned.

The next update that will work in the film’s favor is the casting of Jensen himself. No matter the challenges of bringing a video game series into live-action, a strong lead can turn skepticism to excitement overnight. Assassin’s Creed has Michael Fassbender, Splinter Cell has Tom Hardy, and the field is wide open for arguably the most inspired and visually stunning character out of the three.

What do you think of Derrickson and Cargill’s involvement? Is it a wise move to go with a director so unexpected, or is this one gamble that might not pay off?

No release date has been set for Deus Ex: Human Revolution.


Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

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  1. I really think Deus Ex: Human Revolution could be a great movie. The game is extremely underrated, peoplhe should give a chance to it. When I remember Adam Jensen, I always think how Ewan McGregor fits in the character! Hope to see a good adaptation!

  2. ” ‘big philosophical ideas’ Derrickson alludes to.”

    Hmm.. So 90′s. I think ‘Ghost in the Shell’ and ‘Innocence’ covered most of that quite well. They haven’t went live action yet with those properties but this kind of play might bring a renewed interest by the licensees to push development.

  3. When is a real director gonna pick up one of these game adaptations?

    • When a good video game adaptation is made.

  4. I haven’t seen any of this directors movies, but I’m kind of interested, since stealth can be used as a form of horror, just as long as it’s not classified as a horror movie. Espionage thriller. As for Adam Jensen, I would go for Timothy Olyphant.

  5. I did not know a Deus ex movie was up for grabs.

  6. The problem with games to movies adaptations is simple. They keep the story from the game. By doing this, you are essentially giving it’s main audience (those who have played the game and are aware of the mythology) a game they cannot play. For two hours. So when the movie comes out in this form, word of mouth spreads amongst the core community, all ignore and think it better to just go back and play the original game instead. The cycle repeats, and no A list director ever gets any reason to commit to turning a game into a movie.

    Frankly, I’ve been a gamer for 20 years and are delighted it’s now moved from being seen as a nerd subculture to a wholly merited mainstream extension of artistic talent and expression. So the last thing I want are things that set the gaming industry back.

  7. Let’s hope that they won’t be able to screw this up…

  8. Wow! I can’t believe the news. Honestly you don’t need to be a gamer to fall in love with this movie, only if they stick to the concept. The concept to this story about corporations having more power than the government and the ability to control people’s minds and addictions in a not so farfetched futuristic setting is EPIC!! As long as they stick to the concept, they can’t mess this up. I can’t wait for this movie!!

  9. well, not bad. this videogame movie can actually be good

  10. Jim Caviezel as Jensen.

    • I think Jim Caviezel too… the looks he had in “final cut” plus the badassery from “person of interest”.. even the voice sounds like Mr. Reese

  11. In my opinion the best for this movie would be to build a plot around another character as Adam Jensen.
    Just as Ajeno stated out it would be something all fnas would think of: “hey, I would do something different in tis situation”.
    They should focus on the setting and the philosophical ideas, to make a movie along to the gamestory.

    I personally thinking of a story of a man with the same thinking (I never asked for this), but in another situation.

    For example: A man got some augmentations without realy a choice and have to deal with the cruel world of drugdealers, augmentation-raiders and so on to live his life. Then he might get involved with the great companies.

    Just my thoughts on it. ;)

  12. addition: I was inspired by “Repo Men” =)

  13. On the fence about this film. While it has the potential to be an amazing adaption, I feel like unless its in Ridley Scotts’ hands, it will turn to s***.

    waiting for this director, or whomever helms it next, to prove me wrong.

  14. I think the best actor to be Adam is Henry Cavill: he is handsome, strong, his eyes are clear, and he is a hero! Bradley Cooper looks like Adam but he doesn’t have the hard expression that Adam needs. Some people talks about Karl Urban… he is not bad to be Adam but he is too ugly. I don’t like him. Timothy Olphant??? please don’t. Anyway I think we’ll must conform with a Ben Affleck or something worst.

    Well, what do you think about?

    I’m sorry for punch english.