A film based on William Gibson’s 1984 novel Neuromancer, long considered to be the book that defined the “cyberpunk” genre, has been a long time coming, with talk of a film dating back to the late 80s, but nothing ever really getting very far. Now it seems it is on the verge of production.
Back in 2010, Vincenzo Natali (Cube) was attached to direct the film and would rewrite an earlier script, and then in 2011 GFM Films, then merging with Seven Arts, acquired the rights and retained Natali, with the film enter pre-production with an eye towards a 2012 production start.
Well, we’re more than half-way through 2012, and there has been some increasing heat – but in the meantime, GFM Films kinda silently noted on its web site back in June that Liam Neeson and Mark Wahlberg have been offered play-or-pay contracts for the roles of Armitage and Case, respectively. “Play-or-pay” contracts basically mean that the actors will get paid according to the terms of the contract even if the film doesn’t get made or they are otherwise separated from the production (unless they leave of their own accord.)
Does this mean we will finally get to see a vision of Gibson’s Cyberspace on the big screen?
Neuromancer follows Henry Dorsett Case, a drug addict and former computer hacker who ends up in the employ of the mysterious ex-military Armitage, who repairs his neural computer interface so he can perform a task for Armitage.
William Gibson introduced the world to the term “cyberspace” and cyberpunk to the world in 1984 with his Hugo, Nebula and Dick award-winning novel Neuromancer, which has been a focus for movie development for many years but just never seems to find traction. Now producer Peter Hoffman may have found a foothold and apparently lined up backers for the film, and the rumor is that Bruce Willis may star – however, Willis is not currently attached to the film, with CAA only confirming that he is reading the script. And it seem Willis’ name gets bandied about for various movies for sale, whether or not he is involved…
What do you think? Can Willis pull off the drug-addicted former computer hacker?