Excerpts from the abandoned Deux Ex: Human Revolution movie script have surfaced online, giving us our best view yet of the project.
Around a decade ago, plans were in place for director Scott Derrickson and co-writer C. Robert Cargill to adapt Eidos Montreal’s popular cyberpunk shooter into a film. But it wasn’t to be.
Derrickson and Cargill were snapped up by Marvel to make Doctor Strange, and without the duo onboard, production company CBS Films lost interest and moved on.
“I’m really, really sad CBS Films fumbled the ball on this project,” movie exec Scott Kinney, who worked on the project with Derrickson, has now told USA Today. “[They] would have knocked Deus Ex out of the park to finally make the first great video game film adaptation.
“Their amazing work on Marvel’s Doctor Strange film, which should have/could have been the Deus Ex movie, shared a ‘more than human’ theme in a deft way that translated well into an action-adventure film for a mass audience. Replace the mysticism of Doctor Strange with the transhumanism theme of Deus Ex and we felt like we had all the ingredients for a film that could have been memorable, or at worst, ahead of its time.”
Script excerpts published by USA Today show the film would have begun with an Albert Einstein quote: “Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.” The action would then have begun with a scene of Adam Jensen working out.
Jensen is shown to be sceptical of augmentation, though not fully dismissive. Much of the plot will be familiar to anyone who played the original Human Revolution game – and indeed, the adaptation was worked on in paralell with progress at Eidos Montreal.
One big diversion from the plot of the game is that Jenson actively chooses to be augmented, rather than having his augmentations forced upon him. Otherwise, things look to remained faithful – even down to a scene where Jensen sips whiskey from a glass while topless.
There’s a fair bit of cheesey dialogue, but if you fancy reading more it’s an interesting window into what could have been.
Sadly, the Deus Ex game series has also now fallen by the wayside. Eurogamer reported back in 2017 that fans should not expect another entry any time soon.