The time may be right for William Gibson’s 1984 cyberpunk classic Neuromancer (which won the Nebula, Hugo and Philip K. Dick awards) to get made. Producer Peter Hoffman has been trying to turn this influential dystopian novel (which coined the word cyberspace) into a film for years with Vincenzo Natali (Cube) but costs were prohibitive for this sci-fi hacker space tale. Gibson’s best-known films are Robert Longo’s Johnny Mnemonic, which the writer adapted from his novel, and Abel Ferrara’s New Rose Hotel, based on a Gibson short story.
At this year’s AFM Hoffman has lined up new backers and has been trying to put some forward momentum on the project. Part of that game of smoke and mirrors: telling people that Bruce Willis and newly re-upped Paramount producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura are attached. While CAA confirms that Willis is currently reading the script, that’s a far cry from being attached. Neuromancer follows a low-level drug-abusing console cowboy in futuristic Japan, where stealing means hacking into high-powered computer systems (The Matrix), which he is able to do via a chip in his brain–until he’s given a powerful blocking toxin as punishment for cyber theft. He is given a second chance when a shady business man sends him on a cyber-hack mission.
Michael Ryan and Guy Collins are selling the film through their banner GFM Films. The producers are Hoffman and Jay Firestone. Meanwhile, CAA denies Willis’s participation on a second film for sale at the market, Pure, which seller Epic Pictures had reportedly told buyers would involve the star. Epic refused comment.