Deadpool director Tim Miller has signed on to helm an adaptation of William Gibson’s classic cyberpunk novel Neuromancer.
The Hollywood Reporter is stating that the project is set up at Fox, with Miller’s Deadpool producer Simon Kinberg set to perform similar duties here. No screenwriter has been hired yet.
The story centers on a disgraced hacker who has had his access to the Matrix, a worldwide virtual reality realm that is analogous to the internet, revoked. He sees his opportunity to regain that access when he is approached by a mysterious employer who wants him to hack into an orbiting artificial intelligence controlled by a powerful business clan.
Gibson’s novel has been credited as crystalizing a certain esthetic for the emerging science-fiction subgenre when it was published in 1984. It also served as the foundation for a trilogy of novels from the author, all set in the futuristic, East Coast megalopolis known as the Sprawl. It has also proven a tough adaptation to crack. The rights to film have been bouncing around for the better part of the last decade with first Torque director Joseph Khan and then Vincenzo Natali (Cube) attached.
One problem that Miller and company might encounter with adapting the book is the inevitable comparisons to the Matrix trilogy of films from the Wachowskis. Those films heavily borrowed the concept of plugging one’s consciousness into a computer generated world from Neuromancer. It is possible that people ignorant of how the source material influenced the Matrix movies could look at a Neuromancer film as being the one ripping the ideas off instead of vice versa. It was a problem that was encountered by the makers of 2012’s John Carter where people didn’t realize that numerous science fiction films had been lifting ideas for decades from the pulp novels that formed the basis of that film.
Nueromancer probably won’t be the next project Miller gets in front of cameras. He is also working on Influx, an adaptation of the Daniel Suarez sci-fi novel for Fox as well as animated/live-action mashup adaptation of the classic videogame character Sonic the Hedgehog.