Columbia secured the rights to the title from Eidos Interactive, the successful video gaming company responsible for developing such hit titles as "Tomb Raider." Greg Pruss is currently writing the screenplay.
Like the popular game, the film will be set in the year 2052 as the world confronts the threat of a crippling disease, economic collapse and the threat of global terrorism. JC Denton is a highly-rained, nano-technology enhanced counter-terrorist who is sworn to protect the government. But as he unravels one conspiracy after another, he must decide between continuing to serve the government or overthrow it.
Eidos is already developing a sequel to the franchise and expects to begin marketing and distributing the new game early next year. Ziskin brought the project to Columbia Executive Vice President of Production Matt Tolmach, who will oversee the project with Vice President of Production Rachel O'Connor. Marc Evans will oversee the project on behalf of Ziskin's production company.
"With the brand awareness of the title and a fantastically conceived hero at the core of this film, we feel we can develop Deus Ex as a potential franchise for the studio," Schlessel said. "Our challenge will be capturing all the story elements that have made this one of the most popular PC games and delivering a film that has a distinctive look, execution and feel."
"Deus Ex is an exciting world full of great bad guys and good guys with a movie star role in the character of JC Denton. There is an amazing ambition and depth to the story and we're excited that it has attracted a writer of Greg's intelligence and ability." Ziskin said.
Deus Ex was created by Warren Spector and named "Game of the Year" by over 35 game enthusiast magazines. More than one million units have been sold on the PC and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system formats. The sequel to Deus Ex, DX2: Invisible War, will be launched at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on May 21 through May 23, 2002.
"Eidos is thrilled to partner with Columbia," said Eidos Vice President of Marketing, Paul Baldwin. "Deux Ex is one of our top franchises, and we look forward to seeing it come to life with a top of the line studio like Columbia."