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Neuromancer Movie Deal Moving Forward 334

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-you-think-of-any-reason-not-to dept.
chill writes "After years in development, a film adaptation of William Gibson's seminal cyberpunk novel Neuromancer is finally moving forward. According to a press release, the film has secured sales from distributors at Cannes and visual effects work has already begun. Filming will begin in 2012 with locations in Canada, Istanbul, Tokyo, and London."
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Neuromancer Movie Deal Moving Forward

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  • :D

  • Please (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lifyre (960576) on Friday May 20, 2011 @11:19AM (#36192768)

    Just Please don't suck... The books are great and there is a story begging to be made into a movie in them but it would be so easy to screw up...

    • by uncanny (954868)
      Hey, maybe they'll make it in 3D!!!!
      oh wait, they probably will :(
      • by Kenja (541830)
        3D films are dull, nothing ever happens in them. I'm hoping for 4D.
        • by Matheus (586080)

          That's SO 20th century... I want my movies in 5D!!!

        • by spun (1352)

          You kids and your fancy dimensions. In my day, movies were one dimensional and that's the way we liked it, just moving dots on a line.

    • There's always going to be compromise though, you can't put a book directly on screen, there is usually too much background text. Die hard fans will never be happy no matter what happens.

      • by houghi (78078)

        If there are some people who do not like it, that would be normal. But if you take something like 'I am Legend' which was a great story, then alter the story so the the main character looks good, then you have a problem.

        LotR? Good, because it mostly stuck to the book. Starship Troopers? Bad.

        I can understand if a movie maker does not like the story. But then PLEAAAASE don't buy the rights just for the title. Make your own story that you DO like and let somebody else, who does a better job, turn the book into

        • To be clear, the movie and the book 'Starship Troopers' have almost nothing in common. There is a war with aliens that look like bugs and Rio gets nuke from space. Besides that, the whole fucking plot is thrown out. Not the same story - AT ALL!

          And here is a good bitch about sci-fi book film adaptations. Where is the minority report in the film 'Minority Report'. They fucked the plot so badly the title no longer exists in the film. Asshats!
    • As much as I'd (in theory) really like to see this movie, I can't imagine not being completely let down by it, even it is being done by the same guy who did the wonderfully craptastic Cube (not knocking it, it was just kinda low budget). I can't imagine a modern audience doing anything but laughing at all the neon, Jamaican piloted space ships and a 3D internet. You'd probably have to remove those entirely and then what do you have?

      On the plus side, Gibson has always said to take the idea of there being a N

      • The last time this movie was in "pre-production" it was being directed by some guy whose only experience was directing Britney Spear videos. I won't believe this one until I have a ticket in my hand.

        Your observations were pretty off the mark, enough that I had to respond.

        The music video director you are surely referring to is Chris Cunningham who personally I believe is one of the few people who could actually pull this film off. His work is typically very imaginative but in a dark and edgy way, though he does come from directing music videos and has no feature length directing experience (though he never did any Britney Spears). He pulled out apparently because he did not have final cut approval.

  • by timeOday (582209) on Friday May 20, 2011 @11:24AM (#36192808)
    This book is from 1984. How can the movie have any fresh ideas? I'm having visions of "lawnmower man."
    • Try reading the book. I know 1984 was soooo long ago, but you might be surprised....
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Gilmoure (18428)

        If it wasn't generated by 20 somethings during the last decade, IT'S CRAP!

        The MTV generation just won't tolerate lame old fogey stuff.

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday May 20, 2011 @12:33PM (#36193566)

      The book was decades ahead of its time, it's more topical than ever. Gibson is a miracle, imo, not only because he pretty accurately predicted a future where corporations rule the world and information and information exchange has become omnipresent (ok, he overdid both a bit, but what SciFi author doesn't?), he did so without any idea of how a computer works (IIRC he said in an interview that 'til he got one, which was long after '84, he thought there's some kinda crystals spinning inside or something like that).

      Gibson's Neuromancer world is a bit more advanced than ours, in good and in bad, extrapolate our reality, add a bit of pessimism and you'll get there. More corporation control, more religious lunacy, bigger separation between wealthy and poor, more integration of technology into human bodies. Some parts of it are reality already or are "around the corner". A bit more dystopian, a bit more seedy, a bit more corporation controlled, but essentially... I think the mood is quite well captured. It's a gloomy near-future setting, which will probably be near-future for the forseeable future, as it was 25 years ago.

  • by Psyko (69453) on Friday May 20, 2011 @11:24AM (#36192812)

    This would have been easier to put together 20 years ago, I think they tried to do a movie a couple of times already but it fell apart.

    Nowadays, this is going trying to take the 'futuristic' concepts of global spanning data networks and present them to people that pretty much grew up with them in place, minus the neural interfaces... It was a great book, and I remember in the late 80's was excited to see they were working on a movie. Now, well, I don't think they're going to be able to pull it off.

    Next up, Snow Crash? Why not, these things are going to have to be changed so much to make sense in today's terms of technology that they're not really going to be able to resemble the original except in a vague sort of way.

    • I wonder how they will deal with the banks of pay phones ...

    • I don't think it would be too hard for younger people to grow into the setting. For us, the big deal was that information exchange and the "universal telepresence" that was flashy and cool. For them, this part will probably be trivial. But there are other things in the book that might be quite interesting to a younger audience that grew up with the omnipresent internet and the ability to access information and reach whoever you want at will and leisure at any moment of your life. Who knows, for them it may

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Just Some Guy (3352)

      Neuromancer was never about technology; it was about the effects technology has on society. It could be set in the Wild West without changing the underlying themes of disenfranchisement and alienation.

  • by technoid_ (136914) on Friday May 20, 2011 @11:28AM (#36192848) Homepage Journal

    Due to how badly Gibson's big screen adaptation of Johnny Mnemonic butchered the original story, I am worried this too will tarnish my memories of William Gibson's works. Some stories are better off not being made into movies at all versus being made into a bad movie.

    While we are at it, lets ruin a few other cyberpunk classics such as Snowcrash by Stephenson and Software/Wetware from Rudy Rucker.

    BTW: Get off my lawn.

    technoid_

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Diamond Age ONLY if Terry Gilliam were to direct it.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      If you're that concerned, skip the movie and play the video game [wikipedia.org].

      • by Matheus (586080)

        I loved that game. Played excellent on my Amiga 2000 :)

        The movie has a high percentage of suckage. I'll be positive and have hope for something great but I'll be surprised if this is any better than Tron Legacy ended up being... (note: I actually liked a lot of Legacy... just didn't live up to expectations)

    • Due to how badly Gibson's big screen adaptation of Johnny Mnemonic butchered the original story, I am worried this too will tarnish my memories of William Gibson's works. Some stories are better off not being made into movies at all versus being made into a bad movie.

      While we are at it, lets ruin a few other cyberpunk classics such as Snowcrash by Stephenson and Software/Wetware from Rudy Rucker.

      BTW: Get off my lawn.

      technoid_

      Yeah, that worries me slightly too. The screenplay of Johnny Mnemonic was poor. I think if they borrowed some of the folks that worked on The Matrix trilogy, the filmmakers might actually be able to weave a good story. I think the entire premise hinges on remaining exactly true to the book and only deviating in the slightest, most invisible ways. They should even borrow dialogue from the book.

    • And "True Names", by Vernor Vinge.

      I don't remember there being anything in "Neuromancer" that couldn't be updated to today's technology without any problems, but I don't have much faith in Hollywood's ability to make it appealing to 'Joe Sixpack' (always the highest priority) while still remaining appealing to geek types.

    • Due to how badly Gibson's big screen adaptation of Johnny Mnemonic butchered the original story,

      IIRC part of which was due to Gibson wanting to retain rights to specific characters (Molly for starters).

    • You should not watch the movie. Think: How do you want to cram a 20+ hour read into 120 minutes? You will see a lot of it cut, by the simple laws of movie making. Gibsons books also tend to "suffer" from something I vastly enjoy: He doesn't explain jack. He expects you to know what an Ono-Sendai is, or to puzzle it together from the context, you're expected to know the world and if you don't, well, sucks to be you. It actually improves the experience of a dog-eat-dog future where nobody is holding your hand

    • by blair1q (305137)

      That wasn't Gibson's fault. Hollywood got "creative" with it.

  • I think Neuromancer has aged quite well. Sure, we dont use VR goggles, but its still early days as far as the net goes. Bionics, custom drugs and corporate espionage...well...I never believed that a company like Blackwater would come into existence...
    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      ...I never believed that a company like Blackwater would come into existence...

      And that's just the one that everybody knows about because of their bad habit of killing Iraqi civilians in public. How many other "private security firms" are there out there doing even more questionable things that we never hear about?

      • by blair1q (305137)

        None.

        Blackwater pays enough and, likely, acts enough like The Mob, with obvious capabilities to carry out any "suggestions" they might make as to the consequences of certain decisions, that any startup competition soon becomes a subsidiary.

        Their pricing (about 10X the cost of actual military) is further evidence they're not being undercut by anyone.

    • by Coren22 (1625475)

      Already been corrected, but I think you are thinking of Snow Crash, not Neuromancer.

    • I too think Neuromancer aged well. In fact it inspired "The Matrix" and that movie did well.

      Think about it. Case is comparable to Neo, Molly is comparable to Trinity, and Armitage is comparable to Morpheous. I'm not saying that the Matrix has a one-to-one relationship with Neuromancer, just that I can see that "The Matrix" was inspired by Nueromancer. Especially since Gibson coined the phrase "cyberspace", "jacked-in", and "the matrix" and used them within Neuromancer.

  • For the love of all that is holy and unholy, please do NOT shoot this movie in 3D. Tell the story as close to "as written" as you can and put good visuals backing the story up on the screen and the audience will get it. No, cyberpsace does not have to be in 3D to tell the story correctly. It can all be done in 2D and tell an amazing story including all the cyberspace portions of it. And for fuck's sake - get the Sprawl correct!! The Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis must have that same Blade Runner-esque fee

  • The highest score director Vincenzo Natali has on IMDB is 7.5/10 for the 1997 Scifi film "Cube". He has completed 11 projects as director and has never reached a 8/10 on any of them. Average scores by project type are listed here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0622112/filmorate [imdb.com] Average scores (IMDB) by type of involvement in projects: --- Art Department 7.24 -- Director 6.59 -- Writer 6.84 -- Thanks 6.77 -- Actor 8.10 -- Miscellaneous Cr
    • Not Spielberg. He really screwed up "AI" simply by going too long. He insisted on doing the whole treatment by Kubrick but I believe Kubrick would have had the foresight to know that the whole ending part of that movie was extraneous. If Spielberg would have simply left the story off where the android "kills" himself if would have been a great movie. He needs to keep away from sci-fi now...

    • by Gilmoure (18428)

      What about Luc Besson [wikipedia.org]?

  • the measurements for each dimension are:

    x: popular with general audiences, unpopular with general audiences

    y: financially successful, financial failure

    z: popular with subculture fanatics, unpopular with subculture fanatics

    ok, now amongst those 8 spaces, place your bets:

    like lord of the rings? (winner on all 3 dimensions)

    like watchmen? (winner in both popularities, loser financially)

    like solaris? (only a winner with the subculture of diehards)

    like tron? (winner in general popularity, failure in subculture popularity, winner financially)

    etc., etc.

    8 possible outcomes

    • It's really too bad about Solarius... I believed that was a really great movie of a russian movie that, while ground breaking, will put you to sleep in 5 minutes...

    • How could watchmen win in both categories and lose financially?

      • happens a lot, due to 2 reasons:

        1. take the shawshank redemption. one of the most beloved movies ever. but it was a box office disappointment. some movies grow on you over time, prove durable and to wonderful stories. but due to bad marketing or timing, just didn't recoup the production fee. i'm not saying watchmen is as good as the shawshank redemption, but reactions have been mostly positive

        2. not enough people showed up at the theatres to make the thing profitable. of course, it wasn't even remotely unpo

      • by nedlohs (1335013)

        By costing too much to make.

        Though I don't think it was, the "gross" and "budget" numbers on the wikipedia page for it show it having a ROI of over 40% (though I know nothing about movie accounting and what budget actually includes) which doesn't seem like losing to me...

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Your X and Z axes are independent, but your Y axis is a function of X and Z, mostly X. I think what you wanted for Y was, "Is it any good?" and then you'd have a $ axis as a function of the other three, but still mostly of X.

  • "We have introduced the idea to demographic panels assembled from shoppers at Mall of America, and feedback is generally ambivalent, with many blank stares. However, we have found that this movie will do better in the 18-34 female demographic if 'Neuromancer' is retitled 'New Romancer.' Also, there should be more bodily humor and scatological jokes. 'Too weird', 'I don't get it', 'Something your weird brother would watch', and a doodle of a cat is the dominant impression of the movie from the questionnaire forms. We also suggest cutting the running length from 2 hours, 30 minutes to 45 minutes. This can be accomplished with little damage to the source material and remaining true to the author's original intent, by removing only the plot and the coherency. Plot and coherency seemed to matter the least to the demographic in our surveys."

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Starring Robert Pattinson, who will ad lib all of his lines. However, his shirt will be removed exactly as Mr. Goldsman will script it.

    • This is probably the single most important reason I think Big Content is ultimately more harmful to our culture than good. Copyright one can always be infringed if there are no other options, but how does one battle a torrent of mediocre crap?

      Fortunately, technology is putting power back into the ones who have vision, and not just cash.

  • So now that Neuromancer is out of development hell can we get Snow Crash next? Preferably with a great script and a great director to helm it.
    • by tgv (254536)

      I fear that's going to be prohibitively expensive.

      • by jackbird (721605)

        The action takes place in a storage unit and other structures (soundstage), on a highway (backlot), in a small boat on open water (soundstage/pool/CG), in a nonphotorealistic virtual world (greenscreen/CG), and a crazy manmade island (OK, that's an expensive set, but could probably be a few matte paintings/set extensions plus soundstage interiors). What am I forgetting?

        I think the more difficult obstacle to a Hollywood treatment is that the presence of a vaginal dentata is a major plot point.

      • by TimeElf1 (781120)

        I fear that's going to be prohibitively expensive.

        Perhaps but it would look cool maybe a anime type movie instead of live action.

  • As someone who didn't read books like Neuromancer or Snow Crash until the early 2000's I don't know about this. The books were originally done in a time when the internet and virtual reality were something people thought they were more than they really are, ideas that lead to such nonsense as the latest Tron movie where a virtual world somehow creates it's own life form and can then come to...our life...Besides a lot of updating would need to take place, remember Johnny Mnemonic could only hold 160GB in his

    • by idontgno (624372)

      Don't forget... Molly relates the story of Johnny to Case as she's climbing up to Straylight. You could do a flashback voiceover thing. But I think that'd be a terrible idea.

      If nothing else, I think that blecherous losing monstrosity of a movie needs to be dismembered, burned, and buried in multiple places, not referred to.

    • by Coren22 (1625475)

      AI? Neural Interface? Industrial espionage through hacking? Abilty to shadow someone through an interface, or replay a previously recorded experience? I think you are thinking of Snow Crash more then Neuromancer. Neuromancer didn't have any VR, it had direct neural interfacing.

      • by greymond (539980)

        Neuromancer is the name of one of the AI's in the book...Wintermute is the other one...they merge at the end of the book into "sum of the whole" or something like that they it refers to itself as.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Wait. You mean Science Fiction does things that can't really happen?

  • The nice thing about Gibson's cyberpunk novels is that the plot is generally compact enough that it should be relatively easy to fit it into a 2 hour movie.

    I don't think the subject matter is nearly as dated as some are suggesting. Certainly, it's no more quaint than the junk Hollywood movies constantly put out. But really, a writer with a reasonable amount of talent and sense would update and improve any those elements. The problem, of course, is that good writing seems to be a scarce resource in Hollywood

  • Those who read the book know how horribly wrong a film adaptation can go... I think drawing parallels is relevant because both books have great movie potential, but also a huge amount of room for spectacular failure.

    But the possibility to fail is no reason for not trying, so more power to them. :)

  • When Johnny Mnemonic came out I was so excited to see one of Gibson's books on the screen. The movie was horrible and completely butchered the material. There is no way that they can screw up Neuromancer that badly.

  • I read the book as a teenage and young adult. I noticed reading it that Gibson must have no experience with computers. I also found that part where written that well. I think its loved because ppl wanted to be hip about computers in the 80s and it been riding on that ever since.

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