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After years in Hollywood development Hell, the adaptation of William Gibson’s cyberpunk novel Neuromancer is back in action.
Screen Daily reports that the Chinese C2M Media Group is now co-financing the movie in partnership with the UK-based GFM Films. Producer Lucas Foster (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) is reportedly in talks with new writers, indicating that previous attempts at a Neuromancer screenplay have been scrapped.
Neuromancer is an iconic work of the cyberpunk genre, influencing numerous writers and filmmakers as well as kick-starting William Gibson’s career. Several filmmakers have tried to get an adaptation off the ground, with Milla Jovovich and Hayden Christensen (yes, Anakin Skywalker) both linked to versions of the project in the late 2000s.
The last reliable update came from director Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Splice) in 2013, who said the script had “been ready for years,” with input from Gibson himself. He was working for GFM Films, who went as far as producing Neuromancer posters in 2012, although the new announcement makes no mention of Natali’s involvement.
Neuromancer could make an incredible film, and it already has a built-in audience of sci-fi fans. But with every passing year, a Neuromancer adaptation is more and more likely to seem outdated and derivative compared to the very works it helped to inspire. To avoid looking like a ripoff of post-Neuromancer classics like The Matrix, any adaptation will need innovative production design at the very least, never mind the task of finding the right director to helm the movie.
Photo via Guwashi/Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor