Neuromancer to hit the big screen?

Via Big Dumb Object comes word that someone has bought the film options for William Gibson’s seminal cyberpunk classic, Neuromancer:

“The project will get a $70 million budget with Joseph Kahn currently set to direct. Kahn has only directed one full length feature so far, the motorcycle film Torque, but he may be better known for directing Britney Spear’s music video for “Toxic”. I think all the excitement I just had flew out the window.”

Couldn’t have put it better myself. I can’t think of one film-of-the-book made from a book I’ve cared about that hasn’t made me absolutely furious with its appallingness. Hell knows I’ll go and see it anyway, and I’m pleased that Gibson will get some good dollar out of the deal (hopefully), but … I don’t know, maybe I’m too cynical, but I can’t imagine this being done in any other way but butchery.

4 thoughts on “Neuromancer to hit the big screen?”

  1. Did we have this book-to-film discussion at Eastercon? I have vague, probably drunken, memories of trying to think up movies made from books that were actually good, or even better than the book.

  2. It’ll be rubbish, you know it’ll be rubbish. I’m already writhing in horror at the prospect of horrible shoddy matrix knock-off visuals and cheap cgi shite that will pass for filmaking. Now if we were talking about Bladerunneresque visuals we might be onto something but that would be hoping for way too much.
    There you go, Bladerunner is an aquired taste but a brilliant film made from a book. 2001 anyone?

  3. Shaun – yes, we did. No, I don’t remember either. Draught Becks … ouch.

    Paul – if it actually gets made (and Mr. Gibson himself seems rather unconvinced that it will) it will probably be a huge disappointment. As regards BladeRunner, it was a terrible flop when it first came out, and only became acknowledged over time. Furthermore, PKD himself proclaimed the visuals the be ‘exactly how he saw it in his head’, but the film (perforce) differs considerably from the book, especially with the original ‘Hollywood’ ending as opposed to the director’s cut version. This is an inevitable function of the scriptwriting process. It’s probably also why I can’t be bothered with cinema any more.

  4. Gibson’s statement at his blog rings particularly true: “I no longer get very wrought up over the liminals, myself, except to be annoyed by people who seem to assume that feature films are the ultimate stage of novelistic creation, thereby relegating the book to the status of dull gray chrysalis.”

    In my youth (not that I’m ancient; I’ll be 40 this year) I truly felt that a movie was the end-point for any good book. Now I feel that the book is, itself, its own end-point.

    That said, I’m a fan of PKD’s “DADoES” and a huge fan of “Blade Runner,” but both of those works stand on their own merits. And the point of BR is diametrically opposed to the point of DADoES; where PKD seems to largely describe fakes within fakes, BR posits the value of life, man-made or otherwise, whichever ending you choose.

    In contrast, we get movies like “Hitchhiker’s Guide” which manages to not tell the story of the book particularly well, but also requires that the viewer be familiar with the book in order to make heads or tails of it.

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