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A proposed film adaptation of Deus Ex: Human Revolution was in early stages of development from 2012-2015, but was cancelled. The project was first announced in 2012, but reportedly fell apart when director Scott Derrickson left the project in 2014 to work on Doctor Strange.[1] In 2015, producers Adrian Askarieh and Roy Lee departed from CBS Films, the studio that held the rights to the film, and announced that the project will move to a new studio.[2] However, no further announcements were made, and the project has been regarded by the media as cancelled.[1]

No confirmed name for the proposed film is known. A 2013 Digital Spy article speculated that the working title of the film was "Deus Ex: Human Defiance," based on a 2013 trademark filing of the same name. However, the name Human Defiance was instead used for an April Fool's joke, and official sources have referred to the project only as a Deus Ex movie, and not by any specific name.

Development history[]

On July 12, 2012, it was announced that a film adaptation based on Human Revolution was being planned by Eidos Montréal and CBS Films, who secured the film rights to the game. On November 15, 2012, it was announced that Scott Derrickson would be directing the film, as well as co-writing the script with C. Robert Cargill. The two had worked together on the film, Sinister. In the same article, it was revealed that Roy Lee and Adrian Askarieh would be the film's producers, with John P. Middleton as executive-producer.[3]

In February 2013, Square Enix registered the trademark "Deus Ex: Human Defiance" in Europe.[4] Digital Spy speculated that Human Defiance was name of the film,[5] but this name was instead used for an 8-bit depiction of Human Revolution in an April Fool's joke in April 2013. No industry source has used the name "Deus Ex: Human Defiance" in connection with the film project.

Also in February 2013, Digital Spy reported that, according to screenwriter C. Robert Cargill, the movie will not be a rehash of the games but will instead be an original story set around the time of Human Revolution.[6] Contrary to this report, however, the draft script of the film did evolve to become an adaptation of Human Revolution, according to an April 2022 USA Today article, further described below.

On July 22, 2014, the Hollywood Reporter reported that the film would be written by Michael Finch. The article also noted that Derrickson was initially attached to direct but was now working on Doctor Strange for Marvel.[7]

In June 2015, Screen Rant reported that the project was moving away from CBS Studios due to the departure of producers Adrian Askarieh and Roy Lee from the studio, and that a new home for the film would be announced "shortly." The article also confirmed that Michael Finch was attached last summer due following the departure of Derrickson. The article also reported that Askarieh hoped that the announcement would come in summer.[2]

In April 2022, USA Today reported on additional details of the project at the time of Derrickson's departure, based on the account of Scott Kinney, development executive for Prime Universe Productions. Kinney also provided USA Today with a copy of the 2014 script draft for the movie, excerpts of which was included in the article. Scott Kinney envisioned Bradley Cooper as Adam Jensen and Stephen Lang as Lawrence Barrett, but stated that the project never got as far as casting. The project reportedly "fell apart" when Derrickson left. [1]

2014 script draft[]

The 2014 script draft, as reported by USA Today,[1] features Adam Jensen as the protagonist and mentions other important characters from the game series, including Megan Reed, David Sarif, Tong Si Hung, and the Tyrants Lawrence Barrett, Jaron Namir, and Yelena Fedorova. The movie was to begin with the quote “Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal” by Albert Einstein, a quote that appears in one of the ending monologues of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

The plot generally follows the storyline of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but with some difference. One difference is that Adam Jensen is not augmented against his will as was in the games, but instead chooses to become augmented. Early in the draft plot, Jensen and Reed have a discussion in which Reed posits that augments help people and Jensen states that he will become augmented "for" her. Later, Jensen chooses to become augmented in order to seek revenge on the Tyrants for their abduction of Megan Reed during their attack on the Sarif Industry headquarters.