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AFM News: Is It Time for Neuromancer to Finally Get Made?

Thompson on Hollywood By Liza Foreman | Thompson on Hollywood November 8, 2011 at 1:13PM

AFM News: Is It Time for Neuromancer to Finally Get Made?

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 an chip electrode 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.

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.