"Cube" and "Splice" director Vincenzo Natali has not given up on his dream to one day make a film adaptation of William Gibson's classic 1984 novel "Neuromancer".
After being stuck for years in development hell, the project looked to be moving again last year as producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura came onboard. While funding was sorted out, Natali went to work on the supernatural thriller "Haunter".
Now out doing promotion for that film, Natali spoke with Crave Online about where the "Neuromancer" film now stands:
"It's not on the fast track, but it's very much alive and I'm hopeful. It's a long haul, like all good things that are audacious and challenging. It continues. It seems to be indomitable.
The script has been ready for years. Strangely, that wasn't the hard part. I benefited, first of all, from developing the script very much with the influence of William Gibson, which was tremendously helpful.
Then I also had, frankly, the benefit of looking at all the versions previous to mine and learning from their mistakes. Actually, I'm quite faithful to the novel. I basically went back to the book and made some alterations to contemporize it but it's in there."
The issue is "putting the money together" as a story like this has to be independently funded, and Natali can't do it for less than $60 million:
"It's not just what happens, but how it's told and the texture that exists in the world that we have to recreate. If we can independently raise the money then I'll be operating with total freedom, and that's exciting."
The original book follows a washed-up computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer to work on the ultimate hack. Gibson's novel dealt with topics like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, genetic engineering and cyberspace.
The novel practically invented the genre of 'cyberpunk' and subsequent themed films from "Johnny Mnemonic" and "Strange Days" to "The Matrix" trilogy.