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Joe Cornish To Write and Direct Snow Crash Movie 256

SomePgmr tips this quote from Geek.com: "Fans of the cyberpunk novel Snow Crash have reason to rejoice today, as it's been announced that the film adaptation of Neal Stephenson's classic has been revived once again, this time with an exciting writer and director at the helm in the form of Joe Cornish. Cornish is known for his recent sci-fi alien invasion flick Attack the Block, which was filmed and released in the UK by the same studio that put out Shaun of the Dead. Cornish's first film came to the U.S. in a limited release in 2011 and did well enough that Paramount took notice and pursued Cornish for the Snow Crash project."
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Joe Cornish To Write and Direct Snow Crash Movie

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  • new ending? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cthlptlk ( 210435 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @02:41PM (#40337769)

    Is Stephenson going to write a new ending for the movie? As I recall the book didn't really have one in the first place.

    • Re:new ending? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bsane ( 148894 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @02:46PM (#40337833)

      The ending was fine... the main bad guy was dealt with and the henchmen slips into the night (figuratively).

      What else do you need?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        iirc, it was a big shootout on the tarmac, so hollywood will make that bigger than it was in the book and rub a little feel-good follow-up on it.

        The book did feel like Stephenson just got tired of all the awesome and wrapped it up in a few pages, though.

        • Yeah, the Rat Thing plowing through the fuel storage tank and taking out Rife in a huge fireball of awesome seems pretty damn Hollywood to me.

          Sweet Jesus, that whole scene needs to bring the noise.

        • by dpilot ( 134227 )

          Makes you want to "Reason" with them, doesn't it.

      • by harl ( 84412 )
        What happened to the nuke?
      • One which doesn't presume that early hominid's were all programmable autistic freaks and that we somehow evolved the ability to program ourselves giving us the spark of sapience that puts us above animals. And that this mystical ur-language can be used to hack the minds of people if they look at a screen with this writing on it, reprogramming them to do your bidding.

        The setting is interesting. As long as you view the whole thing as satire. The writing style is enjoyable. But as soon as they start to get
        • I'm not so sure - I mean, sure he's taken something and polished it up to technobabble, but suggestion is very powerful, as is hypnosis, and the same can apply to Neuro-linguistic programming. Even cognitive-behaviour therapy could be considered as some form of language-therapy, so Stephenson's Sumerian as a primitive language that affects us at a more instinctive level and has a stronger effect.

          Well, that's my rationale for it - but whatever, the big thing is that its no as unbelievable as much of the stuf

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      Would that be so bad? Blade Runner didn't really have an ending either in the Director's Cut, which is considered the better version now.

      • Re:new ending? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CFTM ( 513264 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @03:25PM (#40338307)

        ...Wow I just about went all internet fan boy...

        So rather than making a declarative statement on my internet soapbox, let me say that it's my point of view that Blade Runner was terrible. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep dealt with some beautiful ideas, the movie bastardizes most of them.

        Dick's writing revolved around less-than-ordinary individuals thrown into extraordinary situations. This mechanism created some deeply powerful moments were Dick was able to make comments on globalized culture and the introduction of advanced technology to culture.

        Time and time again, people try and turn Dick's books into movies and every time the real heart of the story is lost in translation. ...Resisting urge to be Phillip K. Dick fan boy...

        • I thought A Scanner Darkly was pretty close to the book...

          • by CFTM ( 513264 )

            I've actually avoided that one. The book was a treatise on the consequences of drug addiction; when I asked a good friend if that was there he laughed. So I'm working on second hand information, but in my mind that book is actually the hardest of Dick's library to translate to film.

            I have not seen it though, so I can only base things on second hand information.

        • Re:new ending? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Wraithlyn ( 133796 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @04:19PM (#40338879)

          Are you seriously suggesting that Blade Runner (the movie) has nothing to say about "globalized culture and the introduction of advanced technology to culture"? The visualization of the city alone is an incredible (and increasingly prescient) commentary on these subjects.

          Are you aware that Philip K Dick, while sadly dying before the final film was complete, saw some early footage and LOVED it? A letter he wrote:

          I happened to see the Channel 7 TV program "Hooray For Hollywood" tonight with the segment on BLADE RUNNER. (Well, to be honest, I didn't happen to see it; someone tipped me off that BLADE RUNNER was going to be a part of the show, and to be sure to watch.) Jeff, after looking --and especially after listening to Harrison Ford discuss the film-- I came to the conclusion that this indeed is not science fiction; it is not fantasy; it is exactly what Harrison said: futurism. The impact of BLADE RUNNER is simply going to be overwhelming, both on the public and on creative people -- and, I believe, on science fiction as a field. Since I have been writing and selling science fiction works for thirty years, this is a matter of some importance to me. In all candor I must say that our field has gradually and steadily been deteriorating for the last few years.Nothing that we have done, individually or collectively, matches BLADE RUNNER. This is not escapism; it is super realism, so gritty and detailed and authentic and goddam convincing that, well, after the segment I found my normal present-day "reality" pallid by comparison. What I am saying is that all of you collectively may have created a unique new form of graphic, artistic expression, never before seen. And, I think, BLADE RUNNER is going to revolutionize our conceptions of what science fiction is and, more, can be.

          Let me sum it up this way. Science fiction has slowly and ineluctably settled into a monotonous death: it has become inbred, derivative, stale. Suddenly you people have come in, some of the greatest talents currently in existence, and now we have a new life, a new start. As for my own role in the BLADE RUNNER project, I can only say that I did not know that a work of mine or a set of ideas of mine could be escalated into such stunning dimensions. My life and creative work are justified and completed by BLADE RUNNER. Thank you..and it is going to be one hell of a commercial success. It will prove invincible.


          Philip K. Dick

          (Source: http://www.philipkdick.com/new_letters-laddcompany.html [philipkdick.com])

          So as another Philip K Dick fan (and yes I've read Androids), if you want to say the movie isn't as good as the book, fine (an incredibly boring & obvious statement, but fine). But calling it terrible? Something the author himself described in transcendant terms, as a new birth for the genre, and as justifying his life's work? Philip K Dick would punch you in the face, "fanboy".

          • by CFTM ( 513264 )


            • Care to expand on that?

              I'm not saying your opinion is "wrong", I'm giving MY opinion that you're being incredibly presumptuous about speaking for how well Dick's ideas were translated.

              • by CFTM ( 513264 )

                It's a subjective thing. The most important element in Do Androids... to me, was the juxtaposition of a less-than-ordinary man in an extraordinary circumstance. Northrop Frye, a 20th century literary theorist, postulated that the hero has undergone an extraordinary transformation starting with our first written stories and moving forward to today. Basically, he argues that things exist on a spectrum and that different ages have different takes on what the story protagonist should be like. In Ancient Gre

    • I think the ending was fine at the time it was written. Nowadays, selling AV software doesn't seem a better job than high-speed pizza delivery, but that's not Stephenson's fault.

  • by AuralityKev ( 1356747 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @02:47PM (#40337857)
    If they don't cast The Rock as Raven I will be very disappointed. And still see it opening night.
  • Really? Going by recent Hollywood works, I'm amazed it isn't going to be directed by Michael Bay and star Keanu Reeves.
  • But I didn't pick it on my voting ballot. I think I picked "Doomsday Book" instead. (Oh and also Babylon 5's "Coming of Shadows".) I was unimpressed by the novel, and thought it very depressing. Like film noire; another genre I've never enjoyed.

  • Tagline: (Score:5, Funny)

    by dutchd00d ( 823703 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @02:57PM (#40337989) Homepage

    Everyone listens to Reason.

    • by GoNINzo ( 32266 )
      I have high hopes for this.

      Because there are four things we do better than anyone else: music, movies, microcode(software), and high-speed pizza delivery.
    • I hope they actually consult a physicist when they do that gun, the lack of recoil needs an explanation.

      • There was something about their boat banging up against another boat after he fired. It had recoil, just not enough.

      • by Moofie ( 22272 )

        What lack of recoil? The gun moved the boat. That's recoil.

        • What lack of recoil? The gun moved the boat. That's recoil.

          See, you perfectly demonstrated why they need an actual physicist. Not enough recoil for the energy that was transfered to the depleted uranium fleshettes. Why bother with the nod to the believable depleted uranium idea if the rest of the physics is just a mockery? I'm willing to suspend my disbelief on the question of packing a nuclear power plant into a suitcase without shielding, but not simple Newtonian mechanics.

      • What lack of recoil? p.337-8:

        Hiro's feet go out from under him as the raft moves suddenly; he can see Eliot falling down next to him.

        He looks up at Bruce Lee's ship and flinches involuntarily as he sees what looks like a dark wave cresting over the rail, washing over the row of standing pirates, starting at the stern of the trawler and working its way forward. But this is just some kind of optical illusion. It is not really a wave at all. Suddenly, they are fifty feet away from the trawler, not twenty feet.

  • by Vulch ( 221502 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @02:58PM (#40338005)

    This could be very good. Joe Cornish appears in both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz (OK, in Shaun it's as "uncredited zombie") and seems to have much the same interests and outlook on life as Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

    I can see The Deliverators run being done as a Bond style pre-credits sequence and being awesome...

  • Whelp (Score:5, Interesting)

    by squidflakes ( 905524 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @03:04PM (#40338103) Homepage

    Seeing as how screenplays for Snow Crash have been kicking around almost as long as the book itself, I'm amazed it finally got picked up. Still, I don't have high hopes. What made the book great for me were the odd turns of phrase, the staccato pacing, and the entirely correct number of giant penis avatars wandering around The Street.

    How are they going to represent Vitaly Chernobyl's Nuclear Fuzz Grunge? Are we going to get the glorious Nipponese rap styling of Sushi-K?

    How much in the future will this take place? Are they going to whitewash Hiro?

    Obviously, these are all rhetorical and after what Disney did to John Carter of Mars... well.

    • Re:Whelp (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BetterSense ( 1398915 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @03:37PM (#40338419)
      I have always felt that a Snow Crash motion picture would have to me animated. It's too cartoonish to be live action.
    • Re:Whelp (Score:4, Interesting)

      by firewrought ( 36952 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @03:51PM (#40338573)

      Seeing as how screenplays for Snow Crash have been kicking around almost as long as the book itself, I'm amazed it finally got picked up. Still, I don't have high hopes.

      Perhaps Stephenson's depiction of a hyper-privatized society struggling with disruptive technologies, unpredictable religious groups, and the complete usurpation of rational discourse (all while a marginalized federal government steeps ineffectually in its own paranoia) has never been more applicable to current events. The text is ripe for exploiting (and commenting on) the current political zeitgeist...

    • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )
      They can cast Gackt for sushi-k. Hiro is half black half nippoese, will be interesting who is cast, and will they use google earth? Will the gargoyles wear google glasses?
  • The book definitely has no shortage of movie-worthy scenes, but it's gonna take a really good director to string it all together.

  • Inscrutable (Score:5, Informative)

    by haapi ( 16700 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @04:14PM (#40338817)

    I took a class in Mandarin, and was sorely disappointed to learn that KFC is not actually called the "House of the Ancient and Inscrutable Colonel".

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @04:26PM (#40338983) Homepage

    It's going to be tough. There's too much in that book to cram into a movie, and most of it contributes to the main plot. What to cut?

    Probably most of the virtual reality. VR was more promising in 1992 than it is now. It's been way overdone in movies. Show Hiro in gloves and goggles gear in his storage space, and others briefly in similar gear when appropriate, but spend little screen time on VR.

    Use Juanita Marquez, Hiro's ex-girlfriend and linguist/mythologist , as the designated explainer for the psycho-religious stuff. Somebody has to do that job.

    If they're lucky, they might be able to get Chloe Grace Moretz ("Hit Girl") as Y.T. That's the toughest casting decision. Any of the usual big hunks can play Raven. A number of older actors could play Uncle Enzo. Ng is a CG character. No idea who should play Hiro.

    • A modern take on VR would probably be better - perhaps some directed-to-retina laser displays, and Kinect-style motion-sensing, or nerve-impulse tracking so the person doesn't have to move.

      I hope Adam Buxton gets to play someone. The librarian would do.

  • Joe Cornish was also one of the 2 screenwriters on Adventures of Tintin (meh). But better known in the UK as half of 'Adam & Joe' of TV long past and radio (but not recently). Podcasts here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/adamandjoe [bbc.co.uk]

    I enjoy the podcasts, and would (selfishly) rather that he returned to radio than futz about in Hollywood. They probably pay better than the BBC, though.

    • I really enjoyed Tintin, for one.

      • by illtud ( 115152 )

        I really enjoyed Tintin, for one.

        Fair enough (I'm not sure what he was responsible for or when he was brought in to the process), but I would recommend the A&J podcasts, they're pretty orthogonal to his screenwriting/directing, except for the obvious steeped-in-movies (rather than 'film') that they share with Simon Pegg.

  • by bughunter ( 10093 ) <bughunter@earthli[ ]net ['nk.' in gap]> on Friday June 15, 2012 @06:30PM (#40340199) Journal

    Of all the Stephenson novels to be made into film, why Snow Crash?

    Zodiac is perfect for cinema in terms of scope, relevance, and length. When I read it I thought, "this would lend itself to a screenplay."

    Cryptonomicon. Just wow. It could be a cornerstone of 21st century cinema if it was done right.

    And the Baroque Cycle. It would have to be a trilogy like LotR, but IMO it's far more easily adapted for the screen than Snow Crash. Or at least, it has more of a mainstream appeal. (Come on, the penultimate climax scene where Peter the Great, Isaac Newon, Baron Leibniz, and Daniel Waterhouse come together is epic.)

    Finally. Diamond Age. If there was one C-Punk movie I could ask to be made into a film, by a devoted producer/director, it would be The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer [wikipedia.org]. Really, it's like the Ender's Game of cyberpunk.

    The only reason it's Snow Crash is because that title sold more copies. Pure and simple. Name recognition = box office sales. Nothing else matters in Hollywood these days.

  • tldr; Flop.

    MC's preliminary review of the movie adaption of this iconic novel is: 2 1/2 Stallmans and an opening weekend of $382,000. Fail.

    Give me a mainstream writer/director with a big budget any day. Not six degrees of separation between the director and success. Dragonlance all over again.


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