In spite of video games having become a multi-billion-dollar industry that regularly outpaces movie box-office totals, we still have yet to have our first truly great video-game movie. It’ll happen eventually, and there are a several possible contenders in the works — I’m pulling for the Assassin’s Creed, Mass Effect, and Uncharted movies, personally. One I’d kind of forgotten was happening is CBS Films’ adaptation of Square Enix and Eidos Montreal’s acclaimed Deus Ex games, which THR reports has just added a new screenwriter in the form of Predators writer Michael Finch.
First announced in the summer of 2012, the Deus Ex movie is using the most recent game, 2011’s excellent Deus Ex: Human Revolution as its launching point. The game is set in 2027 and centers on Adam Jensen, a former SWAT cop turned private security agent for an up-and-coming biotech firm called Sarif Industries. Human cybernetic enhancement is a growing field, but also quite controversial, as Jensen learns the hard way during a terrorist attack on the company that leaves him near death. He’s rebuilt with extensive enhancements and goes on the hunt for those responsible, in the process uncovering a web of secrets and conspiracies. Human Revolution already has an intensely stylized and cinematic visual style, not to mention a solid storyline, so it’s definitely got the makings of a great film…if done properly.
Finch takes the Deus Ex baton from the Sinister team of Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill, who began working on the script back in November 2012. Derrickson was also set to direct, but he’s now jumped ship to work on a considerably more high-profile movie: Marvel’s Doctor Strange film. Sinister was a decidedly mixed bag, so I can’t say I’m too upset to see the Deus Ex movie handed off to somebody else. That their replacement is Finch could go either way.
Predators wasn’t a great flick, but it was a surprisingly enjoyable one, and certainly loads better than the Alien vs. Predator movies. Finch also already has some experience handling game-to-film adaptations. He penned the upcoming Agent 47, based on another Square Enix property, the Hitman series. It wouldn’t have to do much to be better than the 2007 movie starring Timothy Olyphant, but presumably Square Enix and CBS Films liked what Finch did with that script enough to become convinced that he was the right man for the job.
The original Deus Ex game was launched in 2000, a cyberpunk first-person action-RPG that was the brainchild of legendary game designer Warren Spector (Thief, Epic Mickey). A controversial sequel followed in 2003, and then Human Revolution served as a hybrid prequel/reboot for the series, set 25 years before the events of the first game. Human Revolution was definitely a pleasant surprise at the time; here’s hoping the movie follows suit.