Fans were disappointed when Deadpool director Tim Miller dropped out of development on the sequel due to creative differences (he has since been replaced by John Wick helmer David Leitch). Not long after, Miller was revealed to be developing a new Terminator film with James Cameron, but it seems he’ll first lend his hand to another classic sci-fi tale. ONE whose adaptation has been long in the making.
Earlier today, it was announced that Miller had officially signed on to direct Neuromancer, with X-Men franchise writer/producer Simon Kinberg developing the project for 20th Century Fox. The film is based on the 1984 cyberpunk novel of the same name by William Gibson which practically codified modern cyberpunk fiction.
Here’s a synopsis:
Henry Dorsett Case was the sharpest data-thief in the business, until vengeful former employees crippled his nervous system. But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run. The target: an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence orbiting Earth in service of the sinister Tessier-Ashpool business clan. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case embarks on an adventure that ups the ante on an entire genre of fiction.
The novel (Gibson’s debut) went on to win Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards, and was so influential that nearly every other cyberpunk work released in its wake has used it as a base. Various aspects of it have shown up in everything from Ghost in the Shell to The Matrix. It was followed by 1986’s Count Zero and 1988’s Mona Lisa Overdrive, comprising Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy, a dystopic future world where the United States has been splintered into several smaller nation states and corporations rule the world, particularly Japanese zaibatsu.
The first attempt to adapt the book was in the late 90s, with British music video director Chris Cunningham and writer/director Chuck Russell (The Scorpion King, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) providing drafts of the script. Electronic musician Aphex Twin would have provided the soundtrack. This early work went nowhere, and another attempt was not made until May 2007, when director Joseph Kahn (Detention, Torque) signed on with Milla Jovovich in the role of street samurai Molly Millions. He ended up dropping out and was replaced by Vincenzo Natali (Splice, Cube) in May 2010, also intending to rewrite the screenplay. In March 2011, Seven Arts and GFM Films merged their distribution operations and purchased the rights to Neuromancer under Natali’s direction. In August, 2012, Mark Wahlberg and Liam Neeson were offered the roles of Case and Armitage, but were never confirmed. In November 2013, Natali revealed that the script, which was written with assistance from Gibson, had been completed for ‘years’. The project continued to struggle to secure funding, finally succeeding in mid-2015 due to the intervention of Chinese company, C2M Media Group. By that time, Natali had finally left the project.
Miller has quite the full plate these days, with an adaptation of Daniel Suarez‘s sci-fi novel Influx also in development for Fox, and an animated/live-action adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog he’s gearing up over at Sony in addition to the aforementioned Terminator reboot/sequel. In my opinion, Natali was a perfect fit for this but Miller may even prove to be a better one, if his work on Deadpool is anything to go by. Check back here for more information on this as it becomes available.
Source: Geek Tyrant