Director Vincenzo Natali has been hard at work trying to get an adaptation of William Gibson’s cyberpunk novel ‘Neuromancer’ into production and it looks like his hard work is beginning to pay off. Not only has the production company GFM Films put up a webpage dedicated to the film and showing off a piece of concept art, it seems that they have also confirmed that offers have gone out to Mark Wahlberg and Liam Neeson.
Although not as extensive as a press release, under the News heading on the ‘Neuromancer’ page is a blurb simply stating “Pay or Play offers have been made to Liam Neeson for Armitage and Mark Wahlberg for Case.”
What is important to note is the phrase “pay or play.” That’s Hollywood lingo meaning that the two actors will get paid their fees whether the film gets made or not. While this is a common practice with most movies in the film industries, it does reflect the fact that the independent filmmakers are committed to getting it made as they want to make sure the movie does go into production or else they have to hand over money to the actors.
Also seen on the film’s official page is a piece of concept art that is being used as a backdrop:
The artwork is from Amro Attia, a concept artist who worked with director Natali on ‘Splice’. Attia has also produced concept art for ‘Fringe’, ‘They’, and ‘Silent Hill,’ While no official explanation about who the art is portraying, many are speculating that it could represent Armitage, the shady ex-military man who recruits Case for an impossible around-the-world hacking job and the role Neeson has been offered.
Interestingly enough, if you go on Attia’s blog page, another piece of art is exhibited next to the one before which seems to be ‘Neuromancer’ related:
This hooded figure may be of Case, the anti-hero hacker at the center of the story and the role that Walhberg would be playing.
Lastly, the webpage also gives a plot synopsis for the film:
Case is a low level hustler living out his last days on the streets of the future Tokyo underground. A talented thief who would break into high security computer systems by directly linking his brain into them, he is discovered and injected with a poison which renders him unable to interface into cyberspace. Unable to work, Case embarks on a self-destructive path of drug addiction and double dealings, waiting for a local crime lord to collect on money and time that doesn’t exist.
Enter a shady businessman named Armitage who offers him the impossible: the chance to repair his neural damage and regain the life he once had. There is a catch though. Armitage has implanted timer activated poisons in Case’s body that he can react if Case doesn’t carry out what he asks. Placed under the protection of Molly, a professional killer who frees him by executing the crime lord, Case is put on a mystery assignment that begins a journey out of the gutters of future Tokyo and into an ever-expanding world of multinational intrigue.
The book that started a whole new sub-genre in the sci-fi world is finally now moving quickly to getting made which should make many cyberpunk fans very happy. The concept art is not too spoilery but the synopsis sounds like they filmmakers have done a good job adapting the novel. Neeson would make a very good Armitage but as for Wahlberg? I’m not quite on board with that casting choice. What do you think of all the ‘Neuromancer’ news?
Source: Bleeding Cool