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Neuromancer: The Movie 210

Anonymous Coward writes "i don't know if anyone has reported this but there is to be a Neuromancer movie. For those of you who don't know, Neuromancer is a book by William Gibson which basically started the cyberpunk culture. If you're at all interested in computers and/or science fiction, you should read the book and await this movie! NEUROMANCER.ORG --horfus " Neuromancer is one of my favorite books (I need to get Cryptonomicon!), and I'd heard a bit here and there about this before, but I'm glad to see it has a website, and should be out in the not-too-distant future. I'm eager to see how the director handles a Gibsonian world (especially compared to Johnny Mnemonic).
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Neuromancer: The Movie

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't know much about the film, but the book rocked, and in Wired a few months back they had a piece on Neuromancer the movie.

    Apparently, the guy whose directing it worked with Kubrick.

    Also, they said that Bill "William" Gibson :) referred to to this new director as a genius.

    And if the matrix isn't green, I'll get mad as hell.

    red moose
    http://amigang.cjb.net - AmigaNG Central, into the wonderful
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sorry to hear that. I guess you'll just have to find something else rather than merely knowing about once uncommon works of fiction to make you feel special about yourself. May I suggest a hobby?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Check this quote from the "Help" portion of Network Solutions' ("Internic") website.

    6. What do COM, NET and ORG signify in a Web Address?

    COM, NET, and ORG are top-level domains in the hierarchical Domain Name System. These top-level domains are just underneath the "root", which is the start of the hierarchy. Anyone may register Web Addresses in COM, NET, and ORG. In fact, the best way to protect the uniqueness of your online identity and brands is to register or reserve Web Addresses in all of the top-level domains.

    7. I've noticed a lot of business Web Addresses end in .COM. Should I secure my Web Addresses in .COM too?

    Absolutely. .COM is the Web Address associated with business. From Fortune 500 companies and large corporations to home-based and small operations, over 3 million users worldwide are currently enjoying the benefits of a .COM address.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I read Neuromancer when I was 12 ('86) and I remember thinking it was dull as f*ck then. Re-read it again recently and discovered I was very perceptive at that age. As a piece of literature, it was awful. I suppose it might have had some moderately interesting concepts in 1984, but that really depends on your point of reference. When I re-read Neuromancer, I was unconvinced so I had a go at another Gibson book. Big mistake. It was even worse. I can't even remember its title. Which I find a little embarassing actually.

    He might be an ideas man, but he certainly isn't a words man.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've read Idoru and Neuromancer and I found them, while having interesting ideas at times, far lacking as novels. They were a pain in the @ss to read because he way overdoes the descriptive language. I mean, how many times did we need to know that one of the guys in Idoru blinked like a maniac? He must have mentioned that 30 times in the book.

    Although, I've heard that overly descriptive style was in vogue in the 1980s and I guess he just hasn't moved out of it.

    Another complaint I have with both those books is that the protagonists act very weakly. Cade never really stands up to Armitage and the protagonist in Idoru is even worse. They both just go with the flow of action, never really taking control of their lives. The women come across as more vital, but you never really get to know them very deeply.

    Also, his books never seem to reach a cresendo. They build, but the very endings are always so lackluster.
  • Gibson's novels are very descriptive. I won't argue with you there. He deals with subjects that are extremely difficult to describe (take "cyberspace" for example. Can you describe it convincingly?). And yet he describes his metaphysical worlds very well.

    But maybe I just like that sort of thing. I like Joseph Conrad too.

  • I don't know about you young teenage whippertwerps, but Neuromancer was a pivotal book for me in the 80's.

    So this movie had better not suck ass, or it's gonna be really, really, really fucked up.

    I'm already freaked though, check this about the director:

    One of the hottest young talents to emerge from Britain's music video scene, Chris Cunningham's eye for arresting images and mastery of visual effects have propelled him in three years to the A list of sought after directors. RES magazine says of Cunningham, "...he manages to be humorous, spooky, subversive and unforgettable all in one clip." On "Neuromancer," Cunningham says,"Film shouldn't be about technology, that should be the background. Neuromancer is a thrilling story. It's also about loads of ideas that Gibson had... It's like a detective story where you don't know what's going on. I love things like that, that unfold."


    Another MTV Music Video director wannabe tries to catapult himself into the movie biz by leaching 'emselves to a culturally pertinent modern work.

    "Film shouldn't be about technology"... thats only because nobody in the film industry understands technology well enough to portray it accurately, you MORON!!

    Neuromancer is *ABOUT* how technology affects peoples lives. It's about the technology that modern man creates, it's about the creation of bigger entities through the application of technology.

    Who wants to place a bet that we get a crappy movie with some lame-ass actor on the up and up, a love story, some violence, a few perfunctory special effects, and a highly modified script that does not resemble the book in any form?

    Shit shit shit.

    "I love things like that, that unfold."

    What the hell sort of lame-ass simplistic hoserspeak is this? Damnit. He comes across as a total dweeb, Mr. Pop Star Video Director, sage of all things interval.

    I vote for an Open Source MOVIE!!! Lets get together all the talent we can find and make our own godamn rendition of Neuromancer, TrippinTheRift style...

  • Gods, yes! David Gerrold wrote some good stuff back then. But honestly, as much as I have enjoyed chatting with him at cons, and his non-fiction writing...he hasn't written a SF book in 20 years that I could finish. I'm not knocking his prose, it is just his style has changed and I just can't get into it. I puts him in the same catagory as Joan Vinge and early Asimov novels.


  • It's hard to imagine them doing the book justice, but the videos I've seen by that director ("Come to Daddy", "Windowlicker", and "Frozen") have been pretty cool.

    Johnny Mnemonic was horrible (it had its moments, but overall, it was horrible), and it doesn't bode well that this is from the same studio.

    I think the movie that most captured the Gibson spirit was Kathryn Bigelow's Strange Days [imdb.com]. And it did so without even using cyberspace, or being set far in the future. Absolutely brilliant movie.

  • ... Mr. Pop Star Video Director ...

    Well, David Fincher had only directed Madonna videos ("Express Yourself" and a few others) before doing "Alien 3" (an ok but not great movie) followed by "Seven" and "The Game" (two of my all-time favorites), so I wouldn't dismiss someone on that basis alone.

    Also, Russell Mulcahy, who did Highlander, had a ten-year career directing Duran Duran videos before that (including "Union of the Snake" and "Wild Boys".)

  • by Jamie Zawinski ( 775 ) <jwz@jwz.org> on Thursday July 29, 1999 @08:54AM (#1777843) Homepage
    I would say that Neuromancer is a much more mature read than Snow Crash..

    Uh, maybe that's because Snow Crash was comedy and Neuromancer was noir? I'm always amazed at how many people totally miss the joke, and don't realize that Snow Crash is at least half parody of the very genre it is putatively a member of.

    I loved Snow Crash, but comparing it to Neuromancer is like comparing ``Dr. Strangelove'' and ``Fail-Safe.''

  • "Technical Details"?

    Hee hee haw haw ho ho ho hahahahahahaha

    Ahem. Sorry. That whole deal with visors and what-not... or beliebability -- a mutant Aleut is the most dangerous man in the world? There were plenty of technical errors -- errors where Neal Stephenson bothered to go into exacting detail, only to get the details wrong. *sheesh*

    Neal Stephenson spends a lot of time making an interesting world, it seems to me, but William Gibson seemed to have a better grasp of humanity; a better grasp of what's important to the story.

    Although I liked both Snow Crash and Neuromancer.
  • When was Final Fantasy not mainstream? Most of the video gamers I know that played video games when the Nintendo was big remember FFI fondly. If not that, I seem to recall FFIV and FFVI being quite popular. And of course, William Gibson and J.R.R. Tolkien are considered 'must reads' or 'good authors' by most people who bother to read books. Looks like you're more interested in being part of a particular subculture than avoiding the mass market.

    Besides, if'ns ya bother to ask me, the person you happen to be is defined not by how you are different from the crowd, or how you are the same. Such caricatures of personality are shallow and only relative.

    To be honest, I feel similar twinges when I see all the people posting to /. But then, these things happen; ideas and forums and objects rise and sink in popularity, and the good old days and the bad old days will never be repeated.

    Sorry to get so off-topic.
  • Bladerunner? Another movie that pales next to the book it was (not really much) based on.

    Johnny Mn. is a great flick IMHO. But taste is personal. Rollins was really great in that though.
  • Neuromancer movie rumors have existed since the early 90s. In fact, at a convention I went to back in 1989 (I think), I saw a neuromancer movie script for sale. I don't know why it keeps fizzling out, but it does, constantly.

    Maybe now that there is the mainstream culture to support it, the movie will be made (i.e., the fact that Matrix was a hit).

  • "Film shouldn't be about technology"... thats only because nobody in the film industry understands technology well enough to portray it accurately, you MORON!!
    Actually, the better SF films and books are not about technology. They're about people. Sure, you need the technology or whatever you're putting in to make it SF, but people are what make the stories interesting. Maybe it's just me, but I'll take a well-developed character (especially a well-developed, believable villan) over a neat technological idea anyday.

    --Phil (I ought to re-read Neuromancer. It's been so long since I've done so that I don't remember whether I liked it or not.)
  • I remember me and my friend being vastly disappointed by Johnny Mnemonic. "I want room
    service" was a TERRIBLE LINE!

    However, it's hard to believe that bit of tripe
    *WAS* from William Gibson's hand (And I am
    talking about the screenplay, not the original
    work... here [imdb.com]'s the IMDB entry for

    I think at the time of the production of the movie,
    there was talk of a Neuromancer movie, but no
    definite word, so I have a feeling that Gibson
    tried to encorporate a few of the elements that
    existed in the other Neuromancer books into
    this (as well as his more recent series which the name slips, but the bridge is a definitely pointer to that). It obviously didn't work very well.

    My only concern is that Neuromancer is good at two
    levels: the idea of cyberspace and what the real
    world is like because of it, and the writing style
    such that you can read it twice and get two different impressions of what's going on. It's
    not that Gibson is vague, but his language is
    used so well that the reader's emotions will
    read into the story. Sometimes when I read it,
    Case is the good guy, sometimes he's an
    innocent being dragged along by Wintermute, and sometime's he's the villian, cracking into
    3Jane's private life. There is no way in heck
    that the movie can convey that; instead, we
    *ARE* going to know what finally happens, FOR
    SURE, and the mystism of the book will be wrecked.
    He might be able to keep some ideas arguable
    (For example, this was done with the woman scientist on the plane in the final scene of 12
    Monkeys; how exactly was she in "insurance"?)
    but I believe that after seeing this movie,
    I will never be able to read Case as any of the
    3 situations above.

  • I had problems with "The Diamond Age," mostly that it didn't really seem to have an ending as much as Stephenson just stopped writing. A lot of the nanotech ideas were very cool though. I had some of the same problems with "Snow Crash" -- he just seemed to stop writing.

    I personally recommend anything written by Bruce Sterling, especially his short stories collections.

  • You're right, there's no cybersex in Neuromancer. There is a short section on a snuff brothel, though. Given that any movie that is made is going to be aimed at young teenagers, I suspect details like that will get skipped.
  • Now, I really, really, REALLY, want there to be a film adaptation of Neuromancer, don't get me wrong. But now that Stanley Kubrick is dead, I seriously doubt that anyone can do it justice.

    While my first reaction was, "Oh, YESSS!" when reading the /. headline, I realized that this latest effort will either

    a) fizzle out in pre-production;

    b) suck really badly;

    c) prove that Gibson was a one hit literary wonder (well, two: "Burning Chrome" was a great prequel/anthology, but "Count Zero" and "Mona Lisa Overdrive" were lacking), if he has anything to do with the screen play.

    BTW, has anyone seen the North American release of "Eyes Wide Shut" yet? Do you know if Kubrick approved the editing necessary for the NC-17 rating? (I don't care how much nudity is in the original -- if Kubrick though some was unnecessary, I'm willing to see a cut version, if not, then no way.)

  • Heh, for me it's the opposite. I like most Brin books, but I thought "Earth" was a load of bat guano.
  • Whoa, that was one HUGE hard drive for 1991... Back then, I paid $500 for my 150 MB drive.

  • That one as well. In fact, just about every damn thing he's ever written, although some books require a stronger stomach than others.

    Give Ken McLeod a try also...
  • IMHO this guy has made the the most disturbing, dark, and creative videos ever seen.

    This film should be the best scifi movie to date.

    Would you mind telling me how these two statements relate to each other?

    Neuromancer is probably going to suck for just this reason - that CC is going to go gonzo on the music video special effects, and leave any sort of character or plot development to the dogs. The whole thing that made Neuromancer's world so compelling were the type of people that inhabited the Sprawl. Just making a cool looking city, and neat-o cyberspace effects, inhabited by cardboard cutouts of characters will make a shitty, disappointing movie. Case was a perfect Anti-Hero - he encountered transcendence, touched divinity, and then went back and got a new liver so he could take more drugs. He simply didn't care about anyone but himself. How has hollywood ever made a protagonist like that? Even Ralph Fiennes from Strange Days was a good guy, albiet an ambiuous one. Try and imagine how hollywood is going to treat the sexual encounter between Molly & Case in the foam-padded 'hotel room'. Do you really think that it's going to be in tune with the character's attitudes, or is it just going to be an excuse for CC to show off Molly's body (probably with more cybernetics than we expect).

    Neruomancer was compelling because it was about people who were not heros, who were not hollywoodesque leading men & women - they were moral and physical degenerates that needed to be threatend with thier life and have the capacity to take drugs be cut off in order to get them to do anything.

    Do we really think that this is what we're going to see in the movie? Or are we going to see Case as an actual 'hero' who actually cares about what he is doing? And if we, god forbid, do actually see someone as degenerate and apathetic as Case on the screen, is it going to be enjoyable to watch? (See Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas for an example of something that can be enjoyable to read, but not to watch). Neuromancer was an excellent book, because Gibson took (in some people's opinion too much) advantage of the English language to describe everything in a nearly poetic and gritty manner. Is seeing it on the screen going to be at all worthwhile? I doubt it.

    This is going to suck.

  • That's not quite true... although _Dr Adder_ was written in 1970 (and is one Class A heavyweight badass motherfucker of a book. If you like cyberpunk, read it!), it did not make it to print until 1984, after _Neuromancer_ launched the mainstream cyberpunk movement. This despite the fact that Philip K Dick worked for years to get it published (and all the more amazing because the novel brutally parodied Dick as the radio station KCID, playing old German opera and irrelevant news).

    Yes, _Dr Adder_ technically predates _Neuromancer_. But that's just because it was so far ahead of its time.

  • I agree about Rudy Rucker. I would also recomend Stanislaw Lem. Although not cyberpunk, his books are certainly thought provoking and much deeper than your average run-of-the-mill SF.


  • Oddly, in his native Poland, Lem's books are considered on par with Asimov, that is to say, geared towards boys in their early teens.

    A lot of Lem's writing is very pointed political satire, hardly the stuff for teenage boys. A lot of his writing touches on interesting sociological issues, such as relationship between technology and religion.


  • I've never read Stanislav Lem. What's his most famous book?

    His most famous book must be "Solaris". It's about strange happenings on a station orbiting a planet whose surface is covered with a sentient, it seems, ocean.

    Two more silly books are "The Cyberiad" and "Star Diaries". These are in the spirit of "Gulliver's Travels".

    One of his later book is a first contact story titled "Fiasco". You can guess how this turned out.

    For more philosopical musings check out "A Perfect Vacum" or maybe "One Human Minute". Two collections of reviews of non-existant books.

    I should probably write some reviews for /.


  • Johnny Mnemonic did suck, but it sucked in a good and entertaining way:

    - Keanu is just plain FUNNY in the movie ("I want ROOM SERVICE!").

    - The Ice-T scene with the dolphin where he says "You got to loop it through Jones" is rather good... actually Ice-T tends to do well in cyber-punk-esque movies. He doesn't take it or himself too seriously.

    - Any movie that puts Henry Rollins in birth-control glasses and makes him a geeky doctor is a must-see for me, even if it is bad.

    Strange Days was a decent movie... I just couldn't take Juliet Lewis singing PJ Harvey tunes...


  • Well if you liked Ghost in the Shell, you should check out these other anime:

    • Patlabor 2 (movie)
    • Akira (movie)
    • Neon Genesis Evangelion (tv series)
    • Vision of Escaflowne (tv series)
    • Macross Plus (oav series | movie)

    Admittedly, Escaflowne is not so cyberpunkish as the others, but it's got supurb animation and an excellent storyline. Naturally you'll need to watch episodes in order, and I suggest you stick with subtitled anime; most dubs are pretty bad.
  • 'The book was better than the film'
    The only exception I have ever seen to this rule was Starwars, where the books were crap.
    If this is true i sure hope the result will be less like Johnny Mnemonic, and more like Blade Runner.
  • hehe.. NSI's been pimpin' out the .net and .org TLDs for awhile now.... I think there were a couple of /. threads regarding this, but the consensus is that they do it now so folks have to buy 3 flavors of every domain they want to own.
  • I've always preferred Sterling's Shaper/Mechanic short stories to his cyberpunk novels. Personally, the problem that I have with cyberpunk is that _Neuromancer_ pretty much covered everything that could be done in a cyberpunk world. Later novels (including Gibson's own) just seemed to repeat the same themes.
  • You miss the point. Some of the sections of writing in Gibsons works [de/e]volve into a poetic expression of the moment. Kind of like a small textual origami peice that bursts a stream of data into you. Damn good stuff.

    Overly descriptive? I like the whole John Shirley esque scenery that Gibson seems to draw from. Its good to be immersed in text and shows alot of skill when you are limited to a medium that has no imagery.
  • The movie which best captures Gibson's style is a great (but not well known) Italian/French movie called Nirvana (http://www.nirvana.it). Has anyone else out there seen it?
    My guess is that we need a European movie to do it right, Hollywood just can't catch the nuances and humor properly.
  • It was mentioned that the movie was coming soon in the computer game docs (this was a long time ago, back when you could still buy C64 games). I think the old production company (Cabana Boys IIRC) went bust and the rights went back to Gibson. I saw a copy of the screenplay at a SF bookshop once but it was sealed and I was too cheap to buy it.
  • Every September, hordes of incoming freshmen entered colleges all over the world and "discovered" the net; it generally took a month or two for them to adapt to their environment, learn netiquette, etc. With the commercial explosion of net.usage among people who refuse to even read FAQ's or even attempt to understand the most basic concepts of netiquette -- insisting that such rules are "outdated", or for whatever reason, do not apply -- and it's been September for close to a decade.
  • Every September, hordes of incoming freshmen entered colleges all over the world and "discovered" the net; it generally took a month or two for them to adapt to their environment, learn netiquette, etc. With the commercial explosion of net.usage among people who refuse to even read FAQ's or even attempt to understand the most basic concepts of netiquette -- insisting that such rules are "outdated", or for whatever reason, do not apply -- and you'll quickly see it's been September for close to a decade now.

  • Why, everyone knows that those silly rules about what's appropriate for .com, .org, .net, etc., are only for other people. They are the ones who should be kowtowing to every last stupid rule of netiquette laid down by those fascist ancestors of ours -- not me!

    The above is pretty much how everyone on the net feels, based on my own experience. Quite sad, but what do you expect from the net.generation who brought us the September that never ended?

  • no more relevant than 1930's "Metropolis"

    Don't dismiss Metropolis's relevance too quickly. Yeah, the technology's sort of silly, but the Big Picture hold up rather well.

    And dammit, now you've got the Metropolis theme music stuck in my head. Dah-da... da-da-da da-da... grrrr

  • There are so many experts...er, undergrads, in here!

    On behalf of all the non-clueless, non-moronic, and non AC college undergrads, HEY!
  • by PD ( 9577 )
    I want to see "Snow Crash" as a movie please. It's the only cyberpunk that I've ever read that doesn't feel like a kiddie book. I'm not interested in cyber-sex, or teenage fantasies. I'm not interested in suspending my disbelief too much.

    Can someone recommend other cyberpunk books that are written for people who know something about computers and appreciate plausible technical details?

  • I wonder if Bill Gates is a big Gibson fan--it seems that the term "microsoft" comes from Neuromancer. Another odd thing is Gates' digital image collection that he supposedly "owns" (owning digital images!). In at least one of the Gibson novels, a very rich man also does the very same thing...

  • yeah he's more than likely doing the film but in someways even better is it's likely that Aphex will do the soundtrack.
  • I wouldn't line up for tickets just yet. That site looks way more like pitch than like product. Hollywood is famous for rumors of movies of famous literary properties that have been "in development" for years with nothing but the rumors to show for it. How many times have you heard about a new version of "The Lord of the Rings" being in the works? "Coming soon!!! Gravity's Rainbow: The Mini Series".

    I'd say someone is just trying to generate enough buzz to get some real money interested. Now they've just expanded pitch-space into the web.

  • Here is link to a recent thread about Neuromancer from Aint It Cool News. [aint-it-cool-news.com] The script the guy is discussing in from 1990! I still think this is low level buzz.
  • Or, from the ends of my fingers at least.
    Greg Egan.
    The best Sci-fi I've read for a long time.
  • They have been talking about this movie for quite some time. I have heard that it was caught up in a legal battle for awhile that about killed the whole project. And still made things difficult for a lot of people. Example: remember the lady in the movie "Johnny Mnemonic"? In Gibson's original short story, that was Molly, the same samurai from "Neuromancer" (if you read Neuromancer close enough, you'll see that she even gives a little "Where Are They Now?" about Johnny). But because of the legal things with Neuromancer, they were unable to use Molly in the movie version of "Johnny Mnemonic" (which I have never seen, mostly because Keanu Reeves can't act).

    All-in-all, I'm excited about this movie. It has the potential of being better the "The Matrix" (which was a great movie that even Keanu's lack of acting skill couldn't diminish). I've read "Neuromancer" about five times (it took me twice to understand) and I'm interested in how they are going to pull it off - it is not an easy book to make a movie version of.

  • Unfortunatelly, there's no real information at the site... Just a few names - Author, Producer, Director... But anyway.

    Now that The Matrix has shown that a good cyberpunk movie, with effects, can be done, maybe we will see a good vision of Neuromancer. Personally, Carrie Ann Moss (?) is a dead-ringer for Molly (IMHO). The "Dodge This!" line summed it up for me. Some unknown as Case, and Brian Denehy or Rutger Hauer as Armitage might work..

    With the Predator camouflage on the street punks, The Matrix 'lobby scene'ish run to free Dixie Flatline, a bit of 2001 (as seen by Terentino) at Villa Straylight - and this puppy just might work.

    But of course after Gibson sold out on the cinematic version of Johnny Mnemonic, I won't be holding my breath.
  • Oddly, in his native Poland, Lem's books are considered on par with Asimov, that is to say, geared towards boys in their early teens.

    Couldn't tell you what qualifies as 'mature' SF there. So much has changed.
  • Let's not forget:

    Heinlein - Stranger in a Strange Land
    LeGuin - Left Hand of Darkness (speaking of the human condition)
    Asimov - Foundation I-III, personal favorites
    Herbert - Dune
    Stephenson - Snow Crash
    [I forgot] - Gravity's Rainbow

    And certainly not least Straczynski - Babylon 5 - Absolutely Brilliant!!

    BTW: Gibson - Olga's Seashell.. in Burning Chrome collection. read it.
  • Hellraiser (in all it's gory) is exactly what we (I) wouldn't want to see Neuromancer become. Hellraiser is an example of precisely what people are afraid Neuromancer will be.

    A movie full of visuals, ad nauseum, effects upon effects, wich obviously accounted for 90% of the film's budget. Very BAD acting, no plot to speak of whatsoever. Some miniscule interaction between characters that is so vague that it could fit into ANY movie in the genre...

    If Neuromancer becomes Hellraiser in Cyberspace, Gibson should commit hari-kari for ever letting it be made.

    C'mon now. There's potential to make a 2001, and you have me expecting Event Horizon.
  • Two side notes:

    One: if you haven't seen the director's cut of Blade Runner, you owe it to yourself to go rent it now. It far outshines the commercial release, with a good deal of important (and completely surreal) footage left in, and the annoying Mickey Spillane-esque monologues cut out.

    Second: Henry Rollins played down in Baltimore at the annual WHFS concert (called the H-Eff-Esstival). One of the DJ's tried to talk to him backstage in his dressing room, and Rollins chased him out, yelling "bitch-boy" at him and apparently threatening to kick his ass. The DJ wrote a song about it, appropriately entitled, "Henry Rollins is going to beat me up."

    We sang that song every time he came onscreen in JM. Fun stuff.
  • I went to see Strange Days in the theater. Took my now-wife. She had to leave partway through, and I wound up following her out.

    Don't get me wrong - in a lot of respects, this movie did everything exactly right. It was terrifying, and human - what particularly sticks in my mind was the annoying yuppie "wire-tripping" for the first time to a recording of a 13-year-old girl taking a shower. However, the film contains the most graphic and disturbing sexual assault ever portrayed in a sci-fi movie (to my knowledge), and my wife just couldn't take watching after that. She was so freaked out I wound up following her out to comfort her.
  • "The sky ... was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."

    (I THINK the ... = "over the harbor" or "over Chiba". Something like that.

  • It's been known that there would be a Neuromancer movie eventually. I just hope they won't fsck up the story like they did with Johnny Mnemonic. Come to think about it they even screwed up the characters in Johnny. Anyway, the neuromancer.org website seems to be pretty uninfomative.. and boring.

    Besides, why does a commercial movie reside at a ".org" domain? Eh?
  • My initial knee jerk was that it would suck, but this dude has directed some of the best videos ever (IMO) - Madonna's "Frozen", Portishead's "Only You". These videos kick ass. That's not to say that his skill will automatically translate to a feature-length film, but I think it has potential.

    Jason Dufair
    "Those who know don't have the words to tell
  • Stand on Zanzibar, The Sheep Look Up, Shockwave Rider.

    Admittedly, Brunner doesn't have a firm conception of "cyberspace" as a separate existance, the base idea for most of later cyberpunk work, but these 3 novels capture very well the whole corporate-run, enviromentally decaying, privacy-free world that informs most of cyberpunk literature.

    Check it out.
  • The only example of a novelisation being better than the film on which it is based is The Abyss. This was Cameron's last good film, but the book by Orson Scott Card is just plain excellent. I don't know whether it's still in print, but it's eminently readable.
  • My big problem is that with most of Gibson's books, the plot is incredibly twisted and convoluted. I found myself going back to reread things just so they made sense! Not that this is a problem with the books - I LOVED it. But I think it'll be awfully tricky to do in movie form without simply telling all the events in the order that they happened, rather than the order which they are told in the book... That might wreck some stuff.. maybe not. Of course, the usual problem of too much stuff in the book to fit a 2 1/2 hour movie applies too... I think 6hr movies should happen more often!!! :)
  • I think he's actually American, officially, but he's been living in Canada for many years now.
  • I haven't seen the movie, but I have read Idoru, and LOVED it. Not as much as the original trilogy, but boy was it good!

    Of course, opinions differ on all sorts of things, but I have to ask what you didn't like about it? For me, most of it was classic Gibson: many different shards of plot, each glimpsed for a few instants, then coming together at the end in a glorious conclusion, technology having an effect on society as seen through the eyes of "the little people"... I really really liked it.
  • I disagree. :)

    But then, I also like Dickens a lot, and many people can't stand his long descriptions either.

    I didn't even find there were that many descriptions in the books - the things that stood out were the completeness of the world, and the complexity of the plots. (and more so, the rather strange plot development, with about 7 different plots all coming together at the end).
  • A movie is different than a video, and requires more than just stunning visuals. Story is what moves things along, and if the director is too involved in the visuals to pay attention to the story, you end up with Inspector Gadget.
  • Two words: Gene Wolfe
    He writes literature.. it's only disguised as SF
  • I agree: This would make a better T.V. mimi-series, although I imagine the acting and/or FX would suffer.
    Even the audio book took (I think) 6 hours to tell the condensed version.
    I think maybe four hours of file would do it. Alot of those long descriptions would get compressed into set and costumes that you take in in a couple of seconds.
  • I'm no cynic, but this will be a bad film. The book - which was my bible for a year - reflected the paranoid 80's cold-war zeitgeist, not the wonderful world we're moving into as governments slowly become irrelevant. The film can't win: if it's true to the book it'll be no more relevant than 1930's "Metropolis", and if it updates the film with Internet refs it won't do justice to the book.

    Either way, I expect effects will substitute for acting, since Hollywood's forgotten how to act. Argh!
  • Okay - there were some problems - I hate Keanu Reeves... to me he is a prick - and I hated the very first scene in the movie when he woke up cause the line came off like he was THE prick - but when you get right down to it, Johnny was a prick as well, I thought.

    Henry Rollins was very cool as the doctor, and Ice-T was, well, Ice-T - I love his attitude.

    I do wish they had explained some stuff to the audience a bit better - like that particle beam thingy the bad guy had in his fingernail. A lot of the audience giggled at that, but I knew what it was because I read the book.

    I can't wait for Neuromancer either. Ever since I read it I have wanted one of those implants like the girl had where you could have the time of day displayed in your vision. That would be major cool.

    Mister programmer
    I got my hammer
    Gonna smash my smash my radio
  • Whenever Cyberpunk is invoked, it always seems folks forget KW Jeters earlier novel "Dr. Adder," which contained all the classic cyberpunk elements.
  • David Brin had some good comments on this. Too bad the screenwriter and director for "Postman" didn't listen. And as for a writing style being in vogue...Not to compare Gibson to the other people I mention, but aren't we glad that people like Henry James, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, and the like didn't submit to the vagaries of what style was "popular" at the time? Like I said, I don't necessarily think Gibson's work will be with us 100 years from now (whose will?) but at least he has his own style, just like Neal Stephenson does.

    And as for protagonists acting weakly, it's not just in sci-fi that this is common. Instead, it is a disease of American literature that creates a superhero that doesn't need any help. The only people in Shakespeare (that I can remember) who were really proactive were the heroes of the history plays, and Shakespeare wrote those to gain political favor. Hamlet was a wimp whose indecision led to his death, blah blah blah. Many protagonists in great works of fiction have been indecisive or inactive.

  • That's not entirely true. Antoine Fuqua was a music video director, but then went on to make The Replacement Killers [imdb.com]. Personally I thought that movie was spectacularly done, and rich in plot.

    Also, the Come to Daddy [warprecords.com] video was brilliant, as well as Cunningham's follow-up video for Aphex Twin, Windowlicker [warprecords.com]. I think we can expect the best from Cunningham.
  • I played the PC version, and man, talk about the best "soundtrack" ever to come out of the stock speaker...

    What a great piece of warez. Where else can you sell your own organs so as to buy better equipment?
  • Definitely have to commiserate with you.

    I think William Gibson's books are terrific.

    However Johnny Mnemonic was awesomely bad. Just no sort of pacing or visual story telling.

    We've yet to see New Rose Hotel. Apparently it doesn't have much tech in it. I've heard varying reviews as to how good it is.

    I haven't seen alot of this director's work but music videos are not a great foundation for movie work. The sensibilities are very different.

    I just have misgivings. Good luck to him anyway.

    The Matrix didn't have a great story but it told it well. Certainly went for the coolness factor and landed that big time.

    I'd like to see that vision but with more thought.
  • Gibson is an ideas man. The concepts within Neuromancer were mind-blowing, especially considering he was writing in 1984. However, he really is a very bad writer, and it was quite easily one of the stodgiest, most heavy-going books I've read in ages.
  • In almost all cases, whichever came first is better.
  • Gibson's books aren't science-fiction. They're so-so adventure books set in a badly explained, pseudo-science nightmare.

    Someone once said "Write what you know." It's obvious that Gibson does NOT follow that advice.

    His books would be much better if he hadn't tried to build up a world he didn't understand.
  • I had the good fortune to get a chance to see a script for Neuromancer when the hype first started, around 1988-1989.

    If the script that's being used is the same one I saw, a LOT of stuff from the book was cut out, but the script was still around 170 pages or so -- nearly a 3 hour film.

    At that length, studios might be reluctant to make it.
  • Rudy Ruckers Software/Wetware/Freeware trilogy is great, not to mention the rest of his books. He's a smart guy - he's written a non-fiction book on the technical aspects of AI and his most recent book is a non-fiction look at technology, but his fiction is great.

    Bruce Sterling's old stuff kicks ass, especially the Schismatrix books and the Artificial Kid.

    Steaphenson's Cryptonomicon is the coolest book I've read this year.
  • This could be very cool if they choose to step outside of the hype and make something thats true to Gibson's novel, unlike Johnny Mnemonic, which was a shitty movie altogether. Honestly I don't see how they're gonna bring Case to the big screen and not ruin it, but I sure as hell hope they do... This was my favorite book for a VERY long time..
  • Neuromancer has Long been a favorite of mine. Like most I was highly excited and then hugely disappointed by 'Johnny Mnemonic'; although the soundtrack Rocked. So much so that I found myself defending the brilliance of William Gibson by having people read the shorts of 'The Burning Chrome'.

    I'm sure we can all know who to expect to be cast as Case . . . Keanu. Especially on the heels of 'The Matrix'; another in this genre with a kick-ass soundtrack. PLEASE, NO KEANU REEVES. Talk about one dimensional actors. Every one of his characters are EXACTLY THE SAME.

    Maybe Neuromancer as a full length animation?
  • Agreed... as was his character in Permanent Vacation...but very little.

    He acts the same...some REALLY good movies, but just a bad acting job. The MATRIX was an AWESOME flick, but Keanu's acting ranks right up there...or should I say down there with William Shatner. Talk about an overactor (sorry to all you lame trekkies out there).
  • The rumors about this have been around a *long* time...since before the C=64 game was but a fond memory.
  • Devo did the soundtrack for the C=64 game. Are they still around?
  • you arent the only one.

    i liked Johnny Mnemonic (the movie) also. It wasnt the same as the story, but it was a good movie it it's own right. Maybe the problem was in translating a short story to a movie length...

    Hopefully Neuromancer will come off closer to the original novel. The thing that concerns me is that they will probably have to cut stuff out to get fit it into a "viewable length" (as defined by hollywood). I'm more concerned about them butchering it when they edit it for length.

    As for the Matrix, i'm sure a lot of individuals will think it's trying to capitalize on the Matrix's success (and i imagine that's part of the reason why it suddenly has enough backing to be made), but only the truly clueless who have done absolutely no research into the genre (and who've never been to the sci-fi section of Borders) will actually slam it in a movie review for being "matrix-like".

    As far as Keanu goes, i've come to two conclusions about him.....
    he should only take roles in cyberpunk movies (and then only as the "what the fuck is going on!?!" character)
    and he should never, ever, do anything that involves period pieces (dracula, dangerous liasons, etc.)

  • Best line in The Matrix...
    "You're not really very bright, are you?"

    Anything KR does , Johnny Depp could do 10x better. KR is just a dumb pretty boy, he has no edge whatsoever. Hell, Depp could probably do a spaced out surfer dude better than KR...
  • by remande ( 31154 ) <remande@NOsPAM.bigfoot.com> on Thursday July 29, 1999 @03:32AM (#1777919) Homepage
    I know the guy who could have pulled it off.

    Stanley Kubrick.


  • A quick web search turned up the following site

    Chris Cunningham Director File

    It is a director file on Chris Cunningham. Lots of Pics from his videos and other interesting stuff.

  • If he can be bothered, that is.
  • First line of Part 1, Chiba City Blues.

    "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."

    Wonderful book...
  • There was an article in Wired about this, just a teeny blurb. But it said something about Gibson having his hands in this movie. He seemed really excited about it, saying that he was critical of what was gonna happen - but that he was pleased with what was being done. I'm sure that by the time that this movie comes out, movie technology will be better. I'm excited about it - definately. The only thing that I'm afraid of is how much of the book is gonna be toned down so that it appeals to more audiences.

    Anyone remember the "William Gibson directed" episode of "The X-Files"? Heh - Invisigoth.
  • Right on. Shockwave Rider is indeed a classic. Brunner hit so much of the paranoia and social surroundings of the net right on the head, before most of it even existed. When I ran a BBS back in the day, I named it PRECIPICE, after the town in Brunner's book.


  • David Brin also comes to mind as an author of pretty technially-grounded, yet imaginative, sci-fi. His Earth was a pretty striking read, with lots of speculation about environmental destruction, framed in a world in which there is an extremely high-tech analogue of the web -- a world Brin imagined, like Brunner did in Shockwave Rider, far before it really existed.

    However, there are some books by Brin that didn't do much for me, so pick carefully.


  • Those who dismiss Gibson out of hand really should check out Burning Chrome. It's a collection of short stories that range from being highly emotional ("Fragments of a Hologram Rose") to straightaway Cyberpunk ("Burning Chrome") to sort of in-between stuff, like "Dogfight," that is one of my favorites. I've always thought Gibson was pretty good at portraying those down-on-their luck characters who eke their way through in pretty non-conventional ways. While speculating about technology (which he acknowledges he knows little about -- which makes it fun for him and the reader, I think), Gibson really wrote spy stories and tragic love stories.

    Some may think I'm overanalyzing, but go read some of the stories and give them a fair shake.


  • For me,the most amazing thing about this book was how Gibson could just nail the nascent spirit of net hacker culture without having a clue about the underlying tech. The book is a wild mix of high-voltage prose poetry, eerily insightful takes on the feeling and attitudes of the subculture, and incredibly dumb takes on the technology involved. I read the book when it first came out in the mid-80's when I was already on the net and I was just stunned at how well this lit guy "got it." I think it will be hard to do justice to this book in the movie both since you will miss the edge of the prose and because we can no longer feel the surprise of the culture that Gibson could see so far ahead of almost anyone else.
  • Yes. I heard about this a while ago...
    Chris Cunningham was the creative genius who made Aphex's "Come To Daddy", "Windowlicker", Madonna's "frozen" clip, and, my favourite, Autechre's "Second Bad Vilbel".

    IMHO this guy has made the the most disturbing, dark, and creative videos ever seen.

    This film should be the best scifi movie to date.

    Johnny Mnemonic? bah!
    good story, extremely pore execution on celluloid.


  • William Gibson spoke to the CompSci classes at my college a few years ago. It was a good talk, and at one point the question of JM came up -- specifically, why he had gone on record endorsing such a piece of crap.

    He may have been covering his ass, but what he said was, the film was great; he happily endorsed it in interviews; then they started doing test screenings, and the studio recut the whole film on the basis of the audience sugggestions, ruining it.

    Just though I'd throw that in there. I love Neuromancer, but I'm a little apprehensive about the movie. Part of me wishes that WG kept his promise never to authorize another movie version.
  • God, I feel so...NORMAL writing so many serious posts in a row. Shudder.

    Anyway, the book was incredible; just about everyone agrees on that. But the computer game waas kickin' as well.

    I spent COUNTLESS hours in front of my good old Apple IIc+ (with the processor overclocked to a P450, of course) making my character plod around the city looking for jacks and better decks. Sure, the dude was bright blue and looked like something out of the original Double Dragon, but it was a hell of a game. Cyberspace just looked COLD, but strangely alluring as well. The first time I accidentally discovered an AI hiding beneath the ICE, I nearly freaked out. The rush as I discovered the node for semi-hidden Copenhagen University and managed to hack inside, getting my hands on softwarez two levels above my current arsenal, almost made me feel like a real cyberspace cowboy. Okay, maybe not that far. :)

    It took me about 5 years (taking a three year sabbatical) to actually beat the damn thing, and even then it took some minor help from an online walkthrough. A quality book, a quality game.

    If they fuck up the movie, I won't be happy.
  • You may not want to hear this....but that island is basically the last screen in the game before the ending. All you have to do is use some obscure skill chip you picked up somewhere (I forget which one), and then Neuromancer comes back and you see the end sequence. Tough break, man :)
  • Chris Cunningham is definitely a master of
    visuals as anyone who has seen the Aphex Twin
    video can tell you. Scary stuff.

    I guess it just remains to be seen how he copes
    with realising the story, it's really a matter of
    how he has perceived the book, but it sounds

    I also hope he's clever enough not to make any of
    the mistakes of `Johnny Mnemonic', the use of
    `Alternative' actors maybe one of the worst (Ice
    T, Henry Rollins, Dolph Lundgren? Give me a


  • William Gibson wrote Neuromancer in 1984 and he freely admits he knew nothing about computers at the time. Put those facts together and his conception of cyberspace is a fantastic achievement. The Sprawl series of books are packed with ideas, some of which are dated, but many are still to come true. Much of the VR in Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash" is anticipated in a single off-hand remark in "Count Zero" about the mercenary Jaylene Slide doing all her socializing in cyberspace as a neon avatar.

    As for the style, back in 1984 nearly all SF was the all-knowing scientists in a great future. Gibson and the other so-called cyberpunk writers (collected in Bruce Sterling's "Mirrorshaded") rebelled against that. These days everyone expects the future to be grimy and street-wise and vaguely dystopian, but that's because of the impact of the book (and of course "Blade Runner"). Gibson's quote "The street finds its own uses for technology" has become a cliche, but he wrote it.

    As for the lack of action, surely the ringing phones from wintermute made the hair on the back of your neck stand on end? Or try out the last brief quote here [slip.net]

    I maintain the complete bibliography [slip.net], so I'm biased, but the Nebula, Hugo, Philip K. Dick, Seiun, and Ditmar awards for Neuromancer mean something.

    Gibson's later work is weak, but for most readers Burning Chrome - Neuromancer - Count Zero - Mona Lisa Overdrive is a sensational ride.

    As for the movie, who knows. Neuromancer is a pretty resilient story and worked well as an audiobook and graphic novel, but there's a lot of ways they could screw it up.

Today is the first day of the rest of your lossage.