Fronted by two of 2017's big hits, Ghost in the Shell and Blade Runner 2049, cyberpunk is officially back on the big screen. The genre — used to describe near-future, dystopian sci-fi and exemplified by the likes of Blade Runner, Total Recall, The Matrix — is widely regarded to have been influenced heavily by the work of author William Gibson, and in particular his breakout novel Neuromancer.
Published in 1984 and noted for its eerily accurate prediction of modern post-Internet society, #Neuromancer is the next cyberpunk classic ready for adaptation, with confirmation that Deadpool director Tim Miller has signed on to take control. The novel focuses on an antihero, a highly skilled computer hacker called Henry Dorsett Case, who is hired by a mysterious employee. After his central nervous system is damaged, he can longer access the global network of virtual reality systems, known as... wait for it — the matrix.
The similarities to the Wachowskis 1999 cyberpunk hit are obvious but not downplayed (Gibson himself has endorsed the franchise). Within the novel's dystopian world, most people are plugged into the virtual reality, with those living in "reality" residing in an collection of urban dwellings known as The Sprawl. In the trilogy of novels exploring the universe (Count Zero and Mona Lisa overdrive followed), Gibson explored the world of "cyberspace," a term he coined and entered into popular culture.
The Origin Of Cyberspace
Such was the impact of Gibson's debut novel, it won the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award and the Huge Award after its release. Due to its significance, studios have flirted with transferring the story to the big screen numerous times over the years, with talk of production stretching all the way back to 2007. However, this is the most concrete yet; Miller will team up with 20th Century Fox, and X-Men aficionado Simon Kinberg is on board to produce.
After spending most of his career as a special effects guru, Miller currently has a one-hit-wonder with his directorial debut, 2016's R-rated, record breaking Deadpool. Along with Ryan Reynolds, Miller had a huge influence on getting the Marvel character onto the screen, creating the test footage that eventually leaked, caused an online sensation, and it widely regarded as the reason the feature film was greenlit.
His departure back in October was a surprise but ultimately, despite being a part of the project's DNA, he left over the dreaded "creative differences." However, Neuromancer is the perfect material for Miller to pick up. Deft at creating grungy, authentic worlds that retain elements of the fantastical, his eye for vision, and ability to produce quality on a low budget, will fit the cyberpunk genre well.
Is Tim Miller the best director to bring Neuromancer to the big screen?
(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)