This article is part two of two, where I will be detailing both Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill’s movie adaptation and Square Enix’s filed trademark for a sequel. In this part I will be talking about ‘DE:HR’s movie adaptation.
I’ve come to be informed over the passing year that movies of video games don’t tend to go down all that well: they either range from not that bad to the really bad — apparently. From what I’ve heard, in most cases video game movies either make a straight-up copy of a game’s story, or set it within the same universe without any relation to the game it’s based on (or sometimes elements of both). I haven’t watched any recently to really make any judgement on the matter, so for now I’ll just have to take the word for it.
In any case, the stigma surrounding video game movies still seems to be an issue, due to the topic’s history. However, it seems that the stigma isn’t going to stop this film from happening, and apparently it won’t fall into the same traps as previous video game movies either. At least, that’s what the film’s director – Scott Derrickson – says. Both him and C. Robert Cargill (co-writer) detailed their thoughts for this film in an interview with CraveOnline.
The film itself will revolve around the prequel Deus Ex: Human Revolution, as was confirmed by Cargill. The philosophy behind the making of this film is that both Derrickson and Cargill are “not making a video game movie, they’re “making a cyberpunk movie“. Will there be a difference in the outcome? Maybe. It’s an intriguing methodology nonetheless. With said methodology in mind, they have taken a look into what has worked in video games and how they can adapt that into film.
“…the 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.”
Derrickson and Cargil are both quite the fans of the cyberpunk genre, and have taken a few films that are related to the genre – that have already hit the cinema – as sources of inspiration, films such as District 9, Looper and Inception. Derrickson exampled those films because apparently they “took certain familiar science fiction methodologies and turned them upside-down and brought a grounded realism to them,” that they added a fresh aesthetic to the motifs those films were based on. They seem very keen on making this video game stand out from all the rest.
“Time travel, aliens arriving on Earth, going into the dream world… Those are all things that you’ve seen a dozen bad versions of, and it dozen decent versions of that. But no one, until those three films, no one had gone into filmmaking from a grounded, realistic point of view and made something with a fresh aesthetic.”
From what I can understand from reading the interview, Derrickson and Cargil are wanting to make a film that flips the sort of tech-noir kind of film conventions upside-down. You know the sort of clichés: heavy rain, dark nights, neon store lights, perpetual fog and steam – simply put: Blade Runner. (Isn’t that Deus Ex in a nutshell?) They want the Deus Ex movie not to feel like what they believe has been the norm for sci-fi cinema over the past 30-odd years. They added that in order to fit such a broad game into film, the key thing would have to be to take certain elements from DE:HR that – to them – feel fresh and original, and adapt everything else around those elements. It is these important elements, they continued, that advance the game, but when adapting it to film, they addressed, it’s recognising that if that’s all that is done, another bad video game movie will be made.
Eidos Montreal and CBS Films have not yet disclosed any possible casting decisions for the film, nor have Derrickson and Cargil said when this film will be hitting the cinema. Derrickson did confirm in the interview, however, that they’ve submitted a draft – a script draft, assumably – that everyone seems quite excited about. So, maybe it’ll be coming soon, perhaps? In honesty, I don’t want to expect anything from this adaptation: it might be really good and stay true to Adam Jensen’s character and the game’s setting, or it could burn in a cloud of smoke and fall into the ocean, along with disappointment. I want to be able to like this film, but I’ll just have to wait until it comes out.
As a closing note: if they don’t make Jensen’s actor eat a bag of gravel during all hours of production, I don’t think Jensen’s character will come out all that well. Also, though Sean Connery might be my interesting choice for one of the masterminds in DE:HR, I don’t think his appearance will be that accurate to be recognisable as the character he’s meant to be. Also, everything has to be yellow. Just saying. Well, not really – that would be very dull – but authenticity!
This is it for part two, where I talked about Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill’s movie adaptation. I’m quite looking forward for this film to come out, whenever that will be. Until that time, I guess, I will just have to make do with listening to the Icarus theme over and over again. Might watch ‘Blade Runner’, too.