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Cyberpunk hits cinema

Back in 1984, William Gibson seared the speculative fiction consciousness with one of the earliest cyberpunk novels – a fusion of intelligent ideas about artificial intelligence, bio-tinkering and evil corporations that has spawned a legion of like-minded books.

So while it might seem strange that Neuromancer is only now sliding into the maw of cinema adaptation, its themes still seem to be resonating in a world dominated by stem cell arguments and constant video surveillance.

Veteran indie mogul Peter Hoffman is the man spearheading the production looking to fill a gap caused in his schedule by – of all things – Paul Verhoeven’s The Winter Queen, which has to wait out Milla Jovovich’s pregnancy. With $70 million to spend, Hoffman has decided that Neuromancer will slip into its place. "Every indie wants to have one or two high-budgeted pics in its portfolio. For us, both the Verhoeven and Neuromancer fit that description," Hoffman blabbed to Variety.

So far, so interesting. But here’s where it gets worrying: Hoffman is handing over the directing job to Joseph Kahn. Not sure of the name? Try “he’s the idiot who cursed the world with Torque”. Yes, the man who was last seen making Ice Cube look embarrassed and motorbikes defy the laws of physics is getting his hands on one of the most influential sci fi novels in history. There is, surely, only the Shatner in Star Trek II response: “KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!”

Thankfully, there’s no script yet, so we’re going to consign this one to rumourville until the cameras roll.