Hollywood’s Finest Vents: Deus Ex To Become A Movie

By Nathan Grayson on July 11th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

After this, of course, the man then gets back up and says, 'OK then, do I get the role?'

Videogame movies! No one really asked for them, but we’re getting them anyway. I now imagine Ezio and Adam Jensen leaping hand-in-hand off the rooftop that is their medium of choice, but with Jensen engaging the Icarus Landing System while Ezio dies horribly because hay doesn’t work that way. At any rate, Deus Ex‘s film rights have officially fallen into the hands of CBS Films, and Human Revolution – not the original or Invisible War – will be its foundation.

Variety has the full report, wherein they constantly refer to Human Revolution as the “second installment” in the series. I’m hoping they’re only pretending Invisible War never existed – like most people do – but I have my doubts. Anyway, Roy Lee and Adrian Askarieh are producing, with Askarieh having also put his stamp on the not-exactly-great Hitman movie from a few years ago. Currently, he’s got adaptations of Just Cause and Kane & Lynch in the works as well. This bit, however, does at least offer some hope: “No one knows ‘Human Revolution’ like the team that created it, and we look forward to working with them from day one to make a film adaptation worthy of the ‘Deus Ex’ name.”

Meanwhile, the film’s so-general-that-it-doesn’t-really-tell-us-anything description does at least seem to be on the right track:

“Film will follow an ex-SWAT security specialist who must learn to embrace the high-tech prostheses that replace much of his body in order to unravel a global conspiracy that involves an attack on a biotechnology firm tied to developing human enhancements.”

But that may as well be Human Revolution’s at-a-glance Wikipedia description, so who knows where the movie might end up once it gets off the ground? As for Deus Ex’s potential to be a solid film, I’m not sold. I mean, I love giant multinational cyberpunk conspiracies as much as anyone, but that’s only part of what makes Deus Ex special. Human Revolution, especially, was mainly memorable for choices, multiple approaches to (non-boss) scenarios, crate-stacking, and vents. Those, unfortunately, aren’t really things you can convey so well in a movie. That said, the story was solid, and the locations were glorious, so we’ll see.

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126 Comments »

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  1. MrMud says:

    I really think the story is solid enough to have a much better chance of being adapted into a good movie than many of the other games where this has been tried.

    • Perjoss says:

      I think there is hope, here is an early shot…

      • Zelius says:

        I can’t believe I’ve just been Bruce Rolled.

      • Droopy The Dog says:

        Ah vents, either they hire a very small actor or that set’s going to need some comically large airvents for him to crouch walk around in.

    • Premium User Badge

      Kelron says:

      Plot-wise I’d say it’s more suited to a film than the original. That’s not to say I’m expecting it to be a good film.

    • alundra says:

      As good as it is, it doesn’t come close to the first, a lot more politically correct. Nevertheless, it won’t be good, games don’t make good movies and if this one is good get ready because the world will come to an end.

    • Bilateralrope says:

      I agree. It could work.

      But when I look at how previous video game movies have turned out, I doubt that it will. Especially when they hire the same people.

    • Suits says:

      If they don’t have a voice bordering Elias Toufexis it’s already over.

  2. MOKKA says:

    I hope they let Uwe Boll make it.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    A bomb!

    • apocraphyn says:

      What a shame…

      • coldvvvave says:

        U-unatco?

        • McDan says:

          Daddy!

          • The Godzilla Hunter says:

            He was a good man. What a rotten way to die…

          • Rao Dao Zao says:

            Why contain it? ‘scool.

          • Squirrelfanatic says:

            And the underclasses are starting to get desperate.

          • Vegard Pompey says:

            Another fifty billion dollars down the drain.

          • RakeShark says:

            6 months.

          • Skabooga says:

            We’ve had to endure much, you and I, but within a week, there’ll be old men . . . ruling the world.

          • Premium User Badge

            SMiD says:

            Number 1, that’s terror.

          • coldvvvave says:

            New Age!

          • Shazbut says:

            Isaac is letting anyone back here these days

          • Squirly says:

            And by the way, JC, stay out of the women’s bathroom.

          • zontax says:

            The unplanned organism is a question asked by nature and answered by death. You are a different kind of question, with a different kind of answer.

          • Flame_US3r says:

            I speel my drenk!

          • Tuggy Tug says:

            You mechs may have copper wiring to reroute your fear of pain, but I’ve got nerves of steel.

          • Srethron says:

            Rhetoric–and you believe it! Don’t you know where those slogans come from?

          • MultiVaC says:

            I wanted orange. They gave me lemon-lime.

          • JCD says:

            A corpse, yes; you feel something.

          • RegisteredUser says:

            I feel sad, because I know that this section of text has filled me with more joy than the abomination the movie will be ever could.

            A bunch of pretentious old men playing at running the world. But the world left them behind long ago. We are the future.

            They actually let you point a movie at people?

            Great if you like rat piss.

          • Premium User Badge

            particlese says:

            Oh, yes…most certainly.

            Edit: Do I need my vision augmented, or did you just ninja-edit that rat piss comment into there to make me sound awkward? o_O

          • -Otto says:

            More like augment-edit.

            “I may as well start using coke.”

  4. CKScientist says:

    Why is the prose at Variety to terrible? It was the same in the Assassin’s Creed article. I find it difficult to read.

    Do they always write like this?

    • 4026 says:

      Prose is strange. Missing pronouns and articles. Appears to have been written by Rorschach.

      ‘”Human Revolution” bowed last summer’ makes no sense either.

      Hurm.

    • RakeShark says:

      Animaniacs education to the rescue!

      I’m serious, the Animaniacs have a song about the writing style of Variety.

      • Brun says:

        Animaniacs were without a doubt one of the greatest cultural products of the 1990’s.

  5. houldendub says:

    “the not-exactly-great Hitman movie”

    “not-exactly-great”

    Biggest understatement of all the century. That movie was freakin horrendous, and this will be as well.

    • Josh W says:

      All I remember about it is that it blurs into the second transporter film, with less chase scenes.

  6. GallonOfAlan says:

    The same rule applies as applies to superhero films – they were all shite until they figured out that it’s best to let a fanboy make it.

    So hopefully whoever ends up directing this is a fanboy.

  7. 13tales says:

    Hrmmm. Max Barry’s Machine Man (excellent novel) got picked up a while ago, with Darren Aronofsky at the helm. Hollywood has rediscovered a love of cyborg stories perhaps?

  8. cultiv8ed says:

    Presumably most of the film will involve the lead character hiding in air vents while the security guards who definitely saw him go in eventually give up and completely forget he was there.

  9. foop says:

    If the film reflects my play style at all, the audience will be confused by the dramatic contrast between all the sneaking around and the set piece boss fights.

    They’ll probably also be disappointed that Adam hides in a corner in the first boss fight and waits for the bad guy to blow himself up with his own grenades.

    • StillUsefull says:

      Oh god the bossfights. I was *so* close to reinstall this because I had totally forgotten about them.

      • JD Ogre says:

        Eh. At least you could go to Typhoon rank 2 and kill all three in two hits each so they’re over fast and you don’t have to play the way they obviously intended you to… (Alternating barrel tosses at the first boss, EMPing the ground to disable the second boss long enough to get shots in. Third one didn’t have an obvious gimmick that I could figure out, though, beyond having to fight a cloaked target in a maze)

        • tetracycloide says:

          The maze walls have cracks that the player can see and shoot through which the boss cannot shot through. That and the laser rife they present you immediately before the fight which shoots through walls.

      • Squirly says:

        I don’t see why people complain about them so much. Yeah they sucked and were a terrible decision on the whole, but I never really struggled with them. They put all the tools to defeat them right there. Just pick up a gun and some grenades (if you’re going the non-lethal route) and you’re ready to rock. 5 minutes tops, and you’re back in a great game, sneaking, hacking, neck-punching.

        I will say that I would have appreciated a way to implement melee takedowns in the bossfights, even if the melee attacks would have just seriously harmed the boss instead of an instant takedown.

        • Ateius says:

          Stunning a boss and then piling a dozen mines at their feet always seemed to work out brilliantly for me. Gave me a use for all those mines, too!

          I’m not convinced this will end well. A huge amount of DX and DXHR’s immersiveness and depth came from wandering around finding things and talking to people, and the plot was compelling because it felt like we were involved making important choices, right down to the strengths and weaknesses of the main character. Take all that out to make a feature-length movie, which of course is noninteractive, and you’ve got a fairly generic story about a shadowy conspiracy manipulating the strings of government with only one man who can stop them.

        • StillUsefull says:

          I complain because the boss fights were contrary to my super-stealthy passive-aggressive non-lethal play style. I advise the writers for this movie to interrupt the action every twenty minutes for a musical or line dancing segment to reflect the nature of the boss fights.

        • Josh W says:

          While the game is telling you what xp you have, the first boss starts spinning up his machine gun. There’s also a slight judder in the game at that moment too on our machine so you can’t act. The result? Play on hard and you get gunned down before you can get to cover.

          Whatever the other bosses are like, that is cutting it far too fine.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    Why contain it?

  11. GallonOfAlan says:

    Thief movie, JUST IMAGINE IT.

  12. The Godzilla Hunter says:

    They should just take the CGI trailer and make it full length. I’d watch that (and no, I do not care that it would be hideously expensive.)

  13. Premium User Badge

    Makariel says:

    I am truly surprised no one so far posted the obvious…

    “I never asked for this…”

  14. Xocrates says:

    Now where is that picture…

    Ah, yes: http://i.imgur.com/urALo.jpg

  15. rustybroomhandle says:

    James Pond 2 – Robocod movie to launch alongside the Deus Ex movie and the Robocop reboot, I’m calling it.

  16. kataras says:

    At least all this recycling in the movies and games industries has to be good for the environment. Right? Right?

  17. Kollega says:

    DEUS EX HUMAN REVOLUTION: A BLEAK, UNCOMPROMISING VISION OF ADAM JENSEN PUNCHING THROUGH WALLS.

  18. Hoaxfish says:

    So this’ll just be a mash-up of the Six Million Dollar Man and Ice Road Truckers (with all that crate-stacking)

  19. DeathCarrot says:

    There’s not enough originality to go around, and the movie producers are starting to get desperate. Your turn.

  20. aliksy says:

    I have no interest in video game movies. Hell, I barely have any interest in regular movies. I’d kind of rather they not fuck it up.

    • Premium User Badge

      Wisq says:

      But if they fuck it up, then maybe they’ll stop trying!

      … no, never mind, who am I kidding?

  21. jellydonut says:

    why.

  22. mr.ioes says:

    0451

  23. Premium User Badge

    gnodab says:

    I am baffled that no one mentioned it before, but if you’d excuse me:

    NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  24. Obc says:

    the only good super hero movies were made by competent to great directors. so far there has been no competent to great director for video game movies. so if this also doen’t get a good director, i have no hope for it.
    the only two passable video game movies are silent hill and prince of persia who have passable directors. by passable i don’t mean faithful adaptation but a movie that atleast works as a movie and can be enjoyed by even those who haven’t seen/played the original.

    seriously give it to a newcomer who wants to prove himself or give it to a good or atleast proven director instead of some hack. i mean what the hell hollywood, anytime a video game movie has some great director attached to it you can that shit. (gore verbinski for bioshock, peter jackson for Halo)

    btw, Christian Bale would be a great Adam Jensen. he’d be a believable actor in fighting scenes and already has a gravel voice. though i think he has already plans for the next 5 years and would be too expensive.

    Gavin O’Connor would be a good director for DXHR. With “Warrior” he has proven to be able to film fast kinetic fights and won’t shy away from graphic scenes.

    • Premium User Badge

      Zephro says:

      This is the basic problem with all holywood adaptations. Give a comic adaptation to a good director (Christopher Nolan) you get a great film give it to a hack and you get The Green Lantern.

      That said the first thing I thought with the cinematic trailer of Jensen smoking and shattering the scotch glass was that it’s been far too long since I saw a good cyberpunk film. HR definitely had the look and themes for a good film, it’s just sad this won’t be it.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        Green Lantern wasn’t bad because it was bad, it was bad because it was average. So very, very average. The thinking behind that movie was so inside the box, it was alive and dead at the same time.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Bad to mediocre directors will mostly give you bad to mediocre films, whatever the genre. Mostly. Hollywood doesn’t understand genre very well. They don’t really understand what makes films good either. They seem to think it is some sort of magic summoned by making a pale copy of whatever’s popular.

      • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

        This Hollywood guy sounds awful.

      • Obc says:

        you’re right. bad/mediocre directors will make bad/mediocre movies. but some types of movies don’t need a good director. someone average or even bad is good enough for a rom-com or comedy. a rom-com like friends with benefits or any stupid adam sandler movies can work just ‘fine’ with any director. they are made for a quick buck and no one expects something better. they are made cheap and easy and are like fast foods.

        BUT many of the all time highest grossing movies are spectacles and a video game movies can be used to make such a big special effects spectacle for all ages and gender and rake in ALL THE CASH. and i think hollywood, who care so much for money, should realize that with video game adaptations they have a good blue print for a movie to make a lot of money so they should give it atleast some care. it would be not only be for our benefit but also theirs. doing a hack job like fantastic four movies is stupid compared to movies like avengers, dark knight, inception, sam raimi’s spiderman, harry potter, iron man and to some degrees avatar and transformer (while avatar has a mediocre script and transformers a truely stupid one, both of those movies have a consistent vision and idea behind them). these movies have shown that if you give some care they will bring the BIG numbers.

  25. BatmanBaggins says:

    What a shame…

    The themes and ideas present in Human Revolution do have the potential for an interesting, engaging story. Unfortunately, this is a Hollywood video game adaptation, which means it will be a completely forgettable by-the-numbers action/sci-fi flick dumbed down for mass consumption with the only goal being to make a quick buck.

  26. Sic says:

    Nobody with talent is involved yet, and the yahoos calling the shots right now looks to be one has-been and one newcomer who has only produced rubbish as of yet.

    Unless someone brilliant gets attached to the project, I say it’s doomed.

  27. woodsey says:

    ‘a film adaptation worthy of the ‘Deus Ex’ name.”’

    ::OXYMORON ALERT::

  28. JesseNorton says:

    “…make a film adaptation worthy of the ‘Deus Ex’ name.”

    Then why base it on a game that isn’t worthy of the ‘Deus Ex’ name?

  29. Yawny says:

    What? This game already has a movie… Blade Runner!

    • roryok says:

      now now, Deus Ex was good and all but it weren’t no Blade Runner

    • Shazbut says:

      Can someone who has seen Ghost In The Shell confirm whether it’s right of me to say “And ‘Ghost In The Shell'”?

      • Squirly says:

        No.

        • Grygus says:

          Why not? Ghost in the Shell explores some of the same themes, and from a similar angle of vaguely rogue law enforcement. The series would be a better match for DE than the movies, but I don’t think it’s a bad comparison at all.

          • Premium User Badge

            Wisq says:

            Ghost in the Shell is about augmented cyborgs hunting down other augmented cyborgs in a land full of augmented people, smart-tanks, mechas, fledgling AIs, etc etc.

            Blade Runner is (ostensibly) about a perfectly normal human hunting down completely synthetic androids. Yes, I’m aware of the spoiler-y subtext behind it, but that’s not the core movie, just a twist at the end.

            So yeah, Ghost in the Shell is way more Deus-Ex-y than Blade Runner is.

        • Srethron says:

          The comparison works for me as well. Ghost in the Shell is if Blade Runner met Neuromancer at an arthouse film convention in Hong Kong, and the two had a baby in the alley out back. The experience causes the mother to become preoccupied about human existentialism. She broods on it for a while, then moves on and then all three of them produced a lot of art, some strange, some pretentious, some wonderful. Later the young child gets to meet a step-brother named The Matrix. This prompts him to get a basset hound and start an award winning TV series.

  30. AJ_Wings says:

    Most of these film projects never make it out anyway with directors and producers jumping ships at the last possible minute because of conflicts in script, production…etc. Just look at the Uncharted film.

    Oh and Eidos, show us Thief 4 and announce a next-gen Deus-Ex already!

  31. MattK says:

    I really wish that they would be brave enough to write their own story in the HR world, rather than rely on one that was written for the medium of computer games.

  32. sinister agent says:

    I look forward to another terrible film of a game that misses the point of both media and makes everyone interested in either look like idiots.

  33. DiamondDog says:

    They could save a bucket load of cash here and just film someone playing through the entire game. Must be enough footage in that for a long franchise.

  34. KingTalo says:

    While this may be somewhat unrelated, has anyone seen the CBS show “Person of Interest”? It’s not bad, a few flaws, but it really gives me a Borne/Batman/Deus Ex-y feel (albeit in the present day). The kicker is that Jonathan Nolan (Chris Nolan’s brother) is the guy who developed it. JJ Abram’s name shows up too, luckily the show isn’t influenced too much by him (I think).

    Lot’s of espionage, intrigue, hacking, judo chops, and bullets to the knees. And it’s got Jim from the Passion of the Caviezel (and the stare-y eyed bad guy from Lost)!

    Oh! And when I first saw the Watch Dogs trailer I was like “So they’re already making a Person of Interest game? Cool!”

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      Hmm sounds like it might be up my alley, after all Jonathon Nolan wrote the short story which led to Memento, which is one of my favourite films. Will keep an eye for it when it comes to the UK (but it’ll probably be on Sky bloody Atlantic, like everyting else I want to watch!).

  35. nickbalev says:

    Directed by Michael Bay
    Script by Michael Bay
    Lead charter Michael Bay

  36. Saiko Kila says:

    President of Squeenix said (4 yearr ago, after http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/square-dance ):
    “We manufacture content. We wrack our brains for what might sell and what might not, but it’s very difficult to hit the jackpot, as it were. Once we’ve hit it, we have to get all the juice possible out of it. The obvious example is Final Fantasy. If we just sell each one, we end up with only 12 commodities. We have to think what we can do to make more profit out of the series. ”

    Now, with that attitude it was only a matter of time before they decided to make a film. Only problem for me is that they are usually involved financially in their films. I hope that this isn’t the case here, that they were paid for the rights, and the financing is from some other, admittedly adventurous, source. Otherwise I would ask them: why haven’t you spent the monies on the game proper? Because it could have been done better…

    Another suspicion I have: maybe this is intended to be just a really cool and/or enormous trailer for the game, like a big advertisement. One, where the customer pays for viewing it.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Don’t forget they made Final Fantasy: Spirit’s Within or whatever it was called

      • Grygus says:

        I love that they made that movie, and wish it had been better so we could have gotten more.

    • PodX140 says:

      This man just shot to #2 worst company leads, and is in arms reach of Kotick status. Seriously, why in gods name would you EVER say that? Sure, you can think it, but to actually say that “we want you to buy the same thing several times over and suck all money out of a franchise till it’s dead” is almost awe inspiring in the PR backlaash that it would cause.

  37. Premium User Badge

    emotionengine says:

    Why do people pretend that this, also, never existed:

    “A film adaptation based on the game was originally announced in May 2002 by Columbia Pictures. The movie was being produced by Laura Ziskin, along with Greg Pruss attached with writing the screenplay. Peter Schlessel, president of production for Columbia Pictures, and Paul Baldwin, president of marketing for Eidos Interactive, stated that they were confident in that the adaptation would be a successful development for both the studios and the franchise.[63] In March 2003, during an interview with Greg Pruss, he informed IGN that the character of JC Denton will be “a little bit filthier than he was in the game.” He further stated that the script was shaping up to be darker in tone than the original game.[64] A theatrical release was scheduled to occur sometime in 2006. It was purported that Willem Dafoe would star in the film, though his role was not specified.[65] The Internet Movie Database reported that production was cancelled in May 2004, and the film profile is no longer listed. However, IGN listed it in their Games-to-Film Frenzy II in October 2004 and is still listed as “in development” in their Games to Film listing.[66][67] CBS Films has optioned screen rights to Deus Ex, the video game franchise from Square Enix. [68]”

    Wikipedia is your friend.

  38. RegisteredUser says:

    Are you talking about the original DE or DE:HR?

  39. RegisteredUser says:

    You know, looking over the quotes again and remembering the game, Deus Ex would make a fucking marvellous book rather than a movie.

    Its insane how close 10 years ago already all the “banks, controlled governments and people in power” and “subjugation through taxation” logic shone through. And here we are, after the financial crisis and with the data on the corporate income and upper 1% etc..

    Anyway.

    Deus Ex, the book(first game, not the stuff that came afterwards). MAKE IT SO!

    (inb4 “I’m not big into books.”)

    • Ewookie1 says:

      That really is a great idea. They have a book for DX:HR and I thought it was pretty good. But it seemed incomplete to me. The right author could make a multi book series out of this whole story. I’d love it.
      Same with a comic book (or graphic novel) series.
      And/or both!

  40. Ewookie1 says:

    Personally, I would LOVE to see this made into a movie. But with all the great cinematic’s in the game, I’d like to see them do an animated version using the material and artists from the game. But that’s my opinion. The crew at Eidos did a bang up job!!! They made the cinematic’s seem so real it was about as believable as you can get with animation.
    If they don’t do it animated, they don’t have to actually send the actor through a vent. Just show the vent as they are about to enter, then fade to the point where they exited and the vent in the background.
    The important part is to get the story told, with some cool special effect stealth and action sequences.

    Either way, I really hope they do make a movie of this.

    I have to admit, I thought the Hit man movie was pretty good, considering time constraints.

    • Ewookie1 says:

      I wanted to add…
      To give this movie even half a chance at being a truly good representation, it would have to be a 3 hour movie, or commit to a Trilogy. It’s the only way you could get enough pieces of the story told with a good verity of stealth and combat action, for it to make it truly great.

  41. Ewookie1 says:

    Eagerly antisipating the release of the DX:HR game, I watched every piece of video put out including trailers, demos and play-throughs. After watching some of those teasers, I was almost more eager for an animated movie than the game. Check out some of the vid’s put out there. I think you can find most if not all on Eidos’ website, or on “You Tube”.