Writer-director Vincenzo Natali is reportedly looking for stars to fill out his attempt at adapting the classic cyberpunk novel.
Released in 1984, William Gibson’s Neuromancer was a genre defining work, which established the concept of cyberpunk. This genre typically consists of dangerous computer-based adventures, often with grey themes, usually set in a near-future dystopia.
Despite numerous attempts, Neuromancer has never been adapted into its own film before, but the novel has obviously inspired many other movies. Without the inspiration of Neuromancer, we likely would not have The Net, Hackers, Jonny Mnemonic, End of Days, The Matrix, Inception, for example.
Unfortunately, this is what makes a film version of the story so difficult to do now. It’s one of those odd situations where the story would seem derivative to a modern audience, even though it technically came first, just because they’ll be able to so clearly see all relevant elements from other films.
Natali is willing to take up the challenge, however, and has been developing the film along with GFM Films for the last couple years.
Now, according to Moviehole.com, (which declines to name a source), offers have been sent out to a pair of actors who might fill the lead roles in the film.
Marc Walberg has purportedly been offered the role of the protagonist, Henry, who had his ability to jack into the global computer network damaged by a mobster after a deal gone bad. Liam Neeson has supposedly been offered the part of Armitage, the mysterious G-man who offers Henry an uplink in exchange for his services – a part Neeson would be perfect for. The third lead role, the romantic lead, hasn’t been offered to anyone yet, apparently, but that’s likely waiting on who plays the protagonist.
Neither actor has commented publicly on the offers yet, and nothing has been officially announced or green lit, so it could all just be Natali sending out feelers for what kind of interest there might be in this film from the talent side. If this is the beginning of the casting process, however, I would expect filming to start after Natali is finished with post-production on his current project, Hunter, which should be wrapping up near the end of the year. Of course, it still has to line up a studio before anything else can go forward.
So here’s to hoping Neuromancer gets off the ground, and that Natali finds a way to make the classic story fresh and interesting for a modern audience.