Well, holy crap.
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that, following Deadpool director Tim Miller’s departure from Deadpool 2 due to the ol’ creative differences fandango, Fox have wooed him with the opportunity to slide into the chair on the long-gestating adaptation of William Gibson’s seminal novel, Neuromancer.
For those not in the know, while Gibson’s 1984 tome may not be the first cyberpunk novel, it was certainly the genre codifier, bringing into focus all manner of now-rote dystopian science fiction concepts: body modification, brutal reality, the goddamn internet you’re reading this thing on, corporate oligarchy, and so on, wrapping it all up in a street-savvy, grimy-yet-arty too cool for school package. No Neuromancer, no The Matrix – heck, entire swathes of SF’s last 30-odd years would simply not have happened. Yes, it is that foundational.
The plot concerns a washed up hacker, Case, who is lured back into the life by the promise of having his wrecked nervous system repaired, and threat of the sacs of poison his new bosses have him implanted with. Teaming with “street samurai” Molly Millions, a hard-as-nails mercenary with mirrored eyes and razorblades under her fingernails, he’s tasked with a number of covert operations, all for some nefarious purpose that… well, that would be telling. You should give it a read – it’s fantastic.
Still, Miller isn’t the first filmmaker to try and bring Gibson’s vision of the high tech low life to the screen: music video maven Chris Cunningham tried, as did Torque director Joseph Kahn, and later Cube director Vincenzo Natali – it was going to be his next project after Splice. Gibson himself took a run at the script – it’s bloody awful. So, pinch of salt – they don’t even have a writer on board yet. However, here’s hoping they pull it off – and if and when they do it doesn’t look old hat because its concepts have been pillaged by lesser works for decades (see: John Carter).