June 22, 2007
About a month ago, Variety came out with a story stating that Indie producer Peter Hoffman was going to be making William Gibson’s Neuromancer, and that it had been greenlit with a $70 million budget (First Showing also reported this). Then the other shoe dropped – Torque director Joseph Kahn, also known for his Britney Spears Toxic video, has been penciled in as the director. So what, was Michael Bay already busy fucking up some other movie franchise, and therefore wasn’t available? Surely Uwe Boll could have been persuaded, right? Seriously, you gotta wonder what criteria was used in making this selection. OK fine – when the previously unknown Peter Jackson was thrust in the role of directing a movie of a genre-creating sacred novel, he emerged a cinematic genius; but lets face it, Braindead and Heavenly Creatures at least showed real talent, whereas Torque…
We know that there have been a variety of attempts to turn Neuromancer into a movie before, most notably by Chuck Russell and later by Chris Cunningham, but for whatever reason, the projects never got off the ground. With this in mind, William Gibson on his blog put this issue in perspective.
Word from the Croisette has some of our posters gnashing their teeth at the possibility that someone who’s made Britney vids might attempt a feature film of Neuromancer. (SFAM NOTE: There was some gnashing on teeth in the meatspace about this as well)
Discussing said possibility, earlier today, with Cory Doctorow, he said:
“I’ve noticed that everything in Hollywood always appears to be in a liminal state of nearly there, with enormous, gallumphing enthusiasm all around, then long periods of indifference. I get almost weekly calls about the amazing things that are just about to happen for me. I go to studio meetings with people who tell me about the amazing things we’ll do together. Somehow, nothing much comes of it… It reminds me a little of bubble-era tech entrepreneurs, especially the business development people who always seemed about to close a GIANT DEAL.”
In looking into this, it is interesting to note that Peter Hoffman’s company, Seven Arts still has no listing in its “Coming Soon” section for Neuromancer. If the movie has been greenlit and is being rushed into production (never a great sign), you’d think they’d already be hard at work on the advertising. As of just yesterday when I checked, there was no IMDB listing for Neuromancer, so I was ready to believe this was all just vapor. However, when now I look, we do find a new, fairly empty IMDB Neuromancer listing (if anyone has an IMDB Pro account, please let us know what additional info is listed!). By no means does this make Neuromancer a done deal (and happily, it doesn’t yet list the director), but it does indicate progress toward a real attempt of a project. Lets keep track of Seven Arts’ website for updates.
And its not that I have anything personally against Mr. Kahn – perhaps he’s just waiting for the right opportunity to show his genius nature. But I think I might be happier if, say, someone in the ballpark of Chris Cunningham or Ridley Scott were making this – you know – someone that had already proven their Scifi brilliance. Especially considering its apparently gonna be a “rush” job, I guess all we can do now is hope for either a miracle or early termination.