William Gibson’s Neuromancer changed everything. The book introduced (to a wide audience) the term cyberspace, and its cyberpunk attitudes, concepts and styles would be a major influence on art, music and film over the next decades. It’s no stretch to say that without Neuromancer there would be no Matrix films, for instance.
Could Neuromancer again change the world? In the right hands, a film adaptation sure could, and I feel like maybe those hands have been found: Joseph Kahn, the director of Torque, one of the great underappreciated films of our decade. Torque is a fantasia of cinematic wonder, and if Kahn is able to bring even half the genius to Neuromancer that he brought to an Ice Cube motorcycle movie – motorbike-fu! – then strap yourselves in, kids, because the filmic paradigm’s about to shift.
The film is budgeted at 70 million dollars and will be from Seven Arts, whose first distributed picture was the delightfully titled 1958 romp, She Didn’t Say No! (exclamation point part of the title*). Seven Arts is fast tracking the film, since their current blockbuster-to-be, Paul ‘I’m back from sucking’ Verhoeven’s White Queen, is being delayed due to Milla Jovovich’s pregnancy, as opposed to her inability to act.
How will Neuromancer look in the late years of the opening decade of the 21st century? The works of Gibson have been so picked over by other pop cult types that there’s almost nothing in the terrific novel that will feel fresh anymore – to unknowing audiences, Neuromancer will seem like it’s just ripping off the thousands of films and books that ripped it off.
*And the movie is, sadly, not a rape apologia