CBS Films began work on Deus Ex even before video game movies proved to audiences and critics that they could be good. However, the film ended up being canceled, but thanks to a recent USA Today interview with Scott Kinney of Prime Universe Productions, part of the script for this canceled project has come to light, giving fans a sneak peek at the project that never came to fruition.
In the early 2010s, Scott Derrickson (The Six Demons of Emily Rose, Doctor Strange) and C. Robert Cargill (Sinister, Mindhunter Showdown) were writing the script for the film adaptation of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the third games in the series, which was released in 2011. In 2014, IGN interviewed Derrickson about the project, from which we learned that the film was to focus on “deepening” Adam Jensen as a character while keeping “all the action and fun of the game.” Derrickson was attached to direct the project, but stepped off the ship to work on Doctor Strange. After his departure, the film was quietly cancelled.
For those unfamiliar with the source material, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an RPG developed by the studio Eidos Montreal, who just released the Guardians of the Galaxy game. Set in the year 2027, the game follows Adam Jensen, a security specialist who undergoes body augmentation after an accident. As a result, Jensen turns into a killing machine. The plot focuses on the social divide between people who are wealthy enough to afford augmentation and ordinary people who make up the lower class.
Below you can read an excerpt from the script about the moment Jensen wakes up and finds out that his body has been augmented:
CLEAN ROOM – Sarif Industries TECHNOLOGY FACILITY – TIME UNKNOWN
Jensen lies on the bed, eyes closed, sheets covering his body. He looks quite normal, except for a hexagon carved into the left side of his forehead and two metal crescents on the sides of his eyes.
Jensen’s eyes open. He quickly sits up, confused and disoriented. The sheet falls off, revealing his legs and torso. He looks like something more than a man. His chest and arms are covered with titanium-filled sheets grafted onto his natural skin. His arms are completely cybernetic, as are his hands, which are now black and shiny.
He looks around, and when he does, his world is sensory overload: colors too bright, sounds too loud, as if his mind is some kind of twisted echo chamber.
CYBERNETICALLY POWERFUL JENSEN’S LOOK:
He is in a large laboratory filled with medical and scientific machines and devoid of life. Megan’s necklace is on a small table, and everything is rendered in ultra-high resolution – no shadow can hide you from it. He blinks and a tactical reticle appears. Microprocessors record everything he sees, and each item is identified as a possible weapon and/or threat. And all this in less time than it takes to blink once more.
Jensen stands up abruptly. He is naked. When viewed from the back, it can be seen that his spine has been replaced with an alloy frame that attaches to all four limbs, and the lower half of each leg has been replaced with cybernetics.”
The revealed parts of the script also deal with Jensen’s initial rejection of the augmentation, conversations with his girlfriend, Dr. Megan Reed, and the attack on the Sarif Industries building. After Jensen wakes up, the plot pretty much follows the game’s plot: Sharif’s corruption is exposed, the augmented are losing their minds, and the heroes are trying to put an end to it.
The action scenes described were supposed to be pretty brutal, with the interview saying that mechanical parts are torn off the augmented bodies of the characters in abundance. However, the film was not planned to be rated R.