Deus Ex Machina, the next failed videogame film?
The rights to the videogame Deus Ex Machina have just been bought by CBS Films after close to a year of deal making, and the big surprise is that the developer and publisher of the videogame series are being kept involved in the film, something that hasn't worked well for big titles such as Halo and Bioshock.
In fact we've just heard news of Assassin's Creed developer Ubisoft creating their own film production company in order to get their film made independently, obviously scarred with what Hollywood have already done to one of their products, Prince of Persia.
Are the Deus Ex videogames any different though? The answer is no, it's a series of games that has developed its own personality, rules and universe and has a strong following who will want to see the film version hold true to the games, but will Hollywood do that? Will the budget allow it?
The videogame is a series of three very well known games with the latest Deus Ex: Human Revolution and according to the story in The Hollywood Reporter this latest game is the one being adapted for the film.
This story is set in the near future where human augmentation is just beginning and an ex-SWAT security specialist must accept mechanical and electronic augmentations to his own body in order to expose and stop a global conspiracy.
The film will call on a quite a bit of effects work and there's a strong story and history behind the films so it will be interesting to see just how involved Eidos-Montreal and Square Enix are in the production of the film, after all it's here where films like Halo and Bioshock have fallen through.
In those cases both publishers fought to keep the films following the themes and storylines created in their videogame universes and through the materials created around the games. Everything was already there and they wanted the films to keep in line and not leap off into their own world ignoring what had already been created. It made sense for then it could compliment the series and also attract the videogame audience to the film and vice versa without disappointment.
However that's just what happened, disappointment. As the budgets grew and the studios struggled to make the films for anything less the model failed.
Ubisoft created their own film production company a while back and have been developing their own projects from animated films up to the announcement the other day of an Assassin's Creed film which will be developed independently, outside of the Hollywood studios.
So it will be interesting to see if a story like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which so clearly has a rich and well built universe to it and a strong existing audience, can make it with this model, and it will also be interesting to see if the developer and publisher have some creative control in order to reign in on the scriptwriters, director, producers and executives and keep the film within the boundaries they have created and the existing audience expect.
Will Deus Ex: Human Revolution be the next videogame to make it to a film adaptation and will the end result be one of the better adaptations? There are so many stories of videogames being adapted for film and never making it, and there are a great number of them on Filmstalker. It would be good to see Hollywood get a working model for these collaborations and bring some of these big videogames to film.