Neuromancer movie

Author William Gibson‘s 1984 science fiction novel Neuromancer predicted many elements of our modern technology-fueled society, coining the term “cyberspace” and pioneering ideas about artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, virtual reality, and more well before those concepts were as ubiquitous as they are today. A movie adaptation has been in development hell for years, but today it inched closer to existence: Deadpool director Tim Miller has been hired to bring the book to the big screen for 20th Century Fox.

The Hollywood Reporter has the news, and while the project doesn’t have a writer or any stars attached at the moment, the report mentions that writer/producer Simon Kinberg (who is making his directorial debut with X-Men: Dark Phoenix) will produce this adaptation.

Neuromancer tells the story of Henry Dorsett Case, a computer hacker taking refuge in Chiba City, Japan after stealing from his employer. He’s left with a damaged nervous system that prevents him from connecting to “the matrix,” a worldwide virtual reality network (which is basically the internet before there was an internet). A mysterious benefactor offers to restore Case’s health and connection to the network if he pulls off a difficult job for him: hack an artificial intelligence that’s orbiting the planet. Mark Wahlberg was in the running to play Case at one point, but no word yet on who might take on that role in this version.

Gibson’s book, his first, is the debut entry in the Sprawl trilogy, and Neuromancer earned rave reviews upon its publication, winning the Nebula Award, the Hugo Award, and the Philip K. Dick Award. It’s been on my personal list of things to read for years, so I’ll have to kick it closer to the top if I’m going to finish before this movie comes out. As for whether or not Miller is the right fit, it’s tough to say at this stage: he did a fine job with a limited budget with Deadpool, but it’s his VFX work that predated his feature career that give me hope he might be the one to finally bring this across the finish line.

Director Joseph Kahn of Torque and Detention fame (his latest film, Bodied, debuts at this year’s TIFF) was once attached to helm an adaptation of Gibson’s book with Star Wars prequel star Hayden Christensen rumored to play the lead role, and eventually Cube and Splice director Vincenzo Natali replaced Kahn with a vision of the story that was envisioned as being “really about our post-human future. It’s about how we, in the future, are going to relate to machine consciousness.” We even saw some concept art from Natali’s Blade Runner-inspired take on the movie, but he ultimately parted ways with the project as well.

Neuromancer doesn’t have a release date set yet, but we’ll keep you updated with more info as soon as we hear it.

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