The people behind the Deus Ex movie are using District 9, Looper and Inception as inspiration for making a true cyberpunk film.
Director Scott Derrickson and co-writer C. Robert Cargill told Crave Online that the film based on Human Revolution, the Eidos Montreal-developed action role-player, will be a true cyberpunk movie - not a video game movie.
"It's not a rehashing of the game," Cargill said. "They want to see elements of the game they love, but they want to see things they hadn't quite seen in the game, that the game didn't allow them to see.
"So it's really allowed us to expand upon the things that happened in the game, and the game has such a great cinematic story to begin with that those elements are very easy to extract.
"But really, at its core, we just keep telling each other, 'We're not making a video game movie, we're making a cyberpunk movie.' And Scott and I are such big cyberpunk fans from way back in the day that that just really charges us up. Because that's what's so great about Deus Ex to begin with, is it really gets cyberpunk. Eidos Montreal really understood the nature of cyberpunk and made 'the' cyberpunk game, and it is just fantastic, and we've just had a great time adapting it."
Cargill highlighted District 9, Looper and Inception because all three were successful at showing audiences something they hadn't seen before, he said.
"Those are the moulds of what we've been doing. It's... let's push this and do something new with concepts people love, but tell a story that they've never seen before, that just melts their brain. And that is just hyperkinetic and smart and just hits all the right buttons genre audiences want to see. That's what we've gunned for.
"We haven't tried to build it around Johnny Mnemonic or New Rose Hotel..."
The Deus Ex movie was revealed last year. Derrickson directed Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. He's writing the script with his Sinister co-writer Cargill.
According to Derrickson, "cyberpunk is difficult." "There's a reason we haven't had a great cyberpunk movie yet," he said. "There's a reason why a sci-fi movie as great as Neuromancer has never made it to the screen.
"I do think there's a new wave coming, and not just because the technology and the effects are up to speed, but I think that there's a sensibility to cyberpunk that the movies are catching up with.
"That's kind of how we feel. The reason why we reference Inception, Looper and District 9 is they were all movies that took certain familiar science fiction methodologies and turned them upside-down and brought a grounded realism to them.
"Time travel, aliens arriving on Earth, going into the dream world... Those are all things you've seen a dozen bad versions of and a dozen decent versions of. But no one, until those three films, no one had gone into filmmaking from a grounded, realistic point of view and made something with a fresh aesthetic.
"There was a little bit of the Blade Runner curse, a little bit of the Matrix curse, where you've got these movies that touch on cyberpunk elements that aren't really cyberpunk films but they are so iconic, and so insurmountable. They're perfect films in their own ways, [but] no-one has been able to break free of that, or no-one has broken free of that, and tried to go at it completely fresh.
"We're going to see a wave of them, I predict. Cyberpunk is going to break out. There's going to be a new kind of science fiction film, and it will be cyberpunk, and it will be amazing."
So, how is work progressing on the film? The creative process is in the early stages, and production is yet to begin. The pair have submitted a draft of the script that "everyone seems excited about". "It's Hollywood, though," Derrickson said. "I've been doing this a long time, and you just never know what will come together when. There's so many moving parts that have to come together for a movie to get made"