Posted on Thursday, February 21st, 2013 by Angie Han
It’s a truism that good video game adaptations are hard to come by, but as long as studios smell franchise potential they’ll keep trying. That’s turning out to be good news for fans, as “trying” in this case means hiring interesting talents to tackle favorite titles. One of the particularly intriguing ones coming up is the Deus Ex movie, which reunites Sinister director Scott Derrickson with writer C. Robert Cargill (a.k.a. AICN’s Massawyrm).
The duo signed on back in November, and while there’s no release date just yet the pair say the project is “moving like a rocket.” In a new interview, Derrickson and Cargill discuss their approach, namechecking District 9, Looper, and Inception as inspirations. Hit the jump to get their updates.
Crave Online got the interview. While Derrickson and Cargill have a few different projects coming up, they offered an enthusiastic update on Deus Ex. Here’s Derrickson:
Deus Ex is moving like a rocket. We’ve turned in a draft of that that everyone seems excited about, and we’re very excited about that, and we’ve got a number of other projects that haven’t really been announced that have a lot of momentum also. It’s Hollywood, though. I’ve been doing this a long time, and you just never know what will come together when. There’s so many moving parts that have to come together for a movie to get made.
Set in the near future, Deus Ex follows a security specialist named Adam Jensen. Recent technological advances have allowed him to enhance his body with cybernetic devices, and he puts said augmentations to use in unraveling a global conspiracy. The film will be based primarily on the third installment of the Eidos-Montreal / Square Enix series, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. But Cargill says they’re not trying to approach it as a “video game movie” per se.
[T]he chief philosophy is we’re not making a video game movie, we’re making a cyberpunk movie. We’ve taken a look at what’s worked in video games and what hasn’t, and really what we’ve broken down is what we think the audience really wants, [what] the audience that loves Deus Ex is going to want to see out of a Deus Ex movie. And it’s not a rehashing of the game. What they want to see is, they want to see elements of the game that they love, but they want to see things that they hadn’t quite seen in the game, that the game didn’t allow them to see.
Of course, cyberpunk hasn’t been too well represented on the big screen either. But Derrickson is optimistic that that’ll change — especially considering the rise of more grounded sci-fi films like Inception, Looper, and District 9.
I do think there’s a new wave coming, and not just because the technology and the effects are up to speed, but I think that there’s a sensibility to cyberpunk that the movies are catching up with. That’s kind of how we feel. We feel like the science fiction, the reason why we reference Inception, Looper and District 9 was that they were all movies that took certain familiar science fiction methodologies and turned them upside-down and brought a grounded realism to them.
The filmmaker was also hopeful about the new crop of video game movies, including Duncan Jones’s World of Warcraft.
I think that the coming of age of video game movies is going to be a combination a few factors. I think that it’s going to be, one, the growing intelligence and maturity of games themselves. That’s certainly the case with Deus Ex. [...] I think that we’re going to see the first generation of video game adaptations made by people who grew up playing video games, and who grew up watching science fiction films. So there’s kind of a love for both, and also a very clear understanding of the difference between both. What makes a good game versus what makes a good movie. And certainly we don’t have the attitude of some past filmmakers, which is “Just be faithful to the game a huge audience of the game will show up.” I think that’s been, in some ways, the Achilles Heel of these video game movies.
Deus Ex fans, what do you think of Derrickson and Cargill’s approach?