It’s hard to believe that there are any classic sci-fi/fantasy novels left to be explored by the studio system, but they’re out there, and one of them is Neuromancer. William Gibson’s influential cyberpunk novel, about an ex-computer hacker enlisted for one last job, has been turned into comic books, video games, radio plays and even an opera, but after over 30 years of publication, there still hasn’t been a movie.
Until now, maybe. Deadline reports that Tim Miller, the director of last year’s blockbuster superhero satire Deadpool, has signed on to adapt Neuromancer for the big screen for 20th Century Fox. No screenwriter has been set just yet, and Tim Miller already has a full plate in front of him. He’s also been attached to direct a reboot of the Terminator franchise and, in a bit of an about-face, he’s also producing a Sonic the Hedgehog feature film. (One of those things is not like the others.)
For those who haven’t read it, the plot for Neuromancer is as follows (via Amazon): “Case was the hottest computer cowboy cruising the information superhighway–jacking his consciousness into cyberspace, soaring through tactile lattices of data and logic, rustling encoded secrets for anyone with the money to buy his skills. Then he double-crossed the wrong people, who caught up with him in a big way–and burned the talent out of his brain, micron by micron. Banished from cyberspace, trapped in the meat of his physical body, Case courted death in the high-tech underworld. Until a shadowy conspiracy offered him a second chance–and a cure–for a price….”
Neuromancer is one of the defining works of the cyberpunk genre, which imagined a world in which technology was advanced but society was crumbling. It’s such a milestone that quite a few other filmmakers have tried to adapt it to the big screen before, including Joseph Kahn (Torque), Vincenzo Natali (Splice) and music video director Chris Cunningham (Aphex Twin’s “Come To Daddy”).
It’s entirely possible that Tim Miller has the chops to make Neuromancer into a reality. The question now becomes whether Neuromancer could possibly have the same impact as the novel, given that films like The Matrix have taken direct inspiration from the novel, and already made audiences familiar with its content.
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Top Photo: Epic Comics
William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on Canceled Too Soon and watch him on the weekly YouTube series What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.