Excerpting their recent interview with “Sinister” director Scott Derrickson and his co-writer C. Robert Cargill, Crave Online got the duo to talk a bit about their ambitions for the planned “Deus Ex” adaptation, which is being based on “Deus Ex: Human Revolution.”
Discussing how they want to make a cyberpunk movie and not a video game movie–that’s from novelist/screenwriter Cargill–the filmmakers described “Deus Ex” as being in the mold of recent breakout sci-fi hits like “Looper,” “District 9,” and “Inception.”
Those are three very different movies aesthetically and thematically, but I kind of get what Cargill is getting at in the quote. He also calls out bombs “New Rose Hotel” (Christopher Walken, Asia Argento, and Willem Dafoe overacting at each other) and “Johnny Mnemonic” as potential landmines, so it’s nice to see the two of them are aware of how throwing the term “cyberpunk” at a bunch of half-baked visual/plot elements can backfire hard.
It also helps that “Looper” and “District 9” were both made more or less on the cheap, which has to be nice for the studios to hear (“Inception” was well past the $100 million mark on its budget).
We feel like the science fiction, the reason why we reference Inception, Looper and District 9 was that 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 that you’ve seen a dozen bad versions of, and it dozen decent versions of that.
Cyberpunk as a genre is so tough to visualize because the technology for any script that’s in development is a moving target. In the three years or whatever that it takes to get a major cyberpunk feature produced, the futuristic references might seem antiquated, and plus the virtual worlds described in something like “Neuromancer” (or to a much lesser extent maybe Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s “Slum Online”) are about characters hanging out in virtual worlds, which can end up being inventively realized a la “Existenz” or end up looking like shareware (“The Lawnmower Man,” “Virtuosity”).
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