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Video director Chris Cunningham set to bring William Gibson classic to big screen...

CHRIS CUNNINGHAM, the man behind videos for Aphex Twin, Leftfield, Bjork and Madonna, is writing a screenplay for a movie version of William Gibson‘s cult novel Neuromancer.

Cunningham will also direct the film adaptation of the 1984 cyberpunk classic and it’s tipped that Richard James, aka Aphex Twin, will work on the soundtrack.

Neuromancer is widely credited as introducing the concept of the Internet and virtual reality into the public domain. Gibson and cohorts like Rudy Rucker, Bruce Sterling, Greg Bear and John Shirley revived an interest in science fiction by non-fans, taking a more sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll approach to the genre which was, in the early 80s, retreating into juvenile sword and sorcery series and reactionary hard-science SF as well as Star Wars/Trek spin offs and imitators.

Neuromancer, the first of a trilogy of novels (along with Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive plus a related short story collection Burning Chrome) is set in the near future when all the cities on America’s East Coast have merged into a single urban conurbation called The Sprawl, where a subculture of hackers steal data in cyberspace (a term coined by Gibson) and sinister cabals of multi nationals and organised crime groups blur the boundaries between business and crime.

There have been several attempts to film the novel, though so far the only Gibson works to have hit the big screen are Johnny Mnemonic and an adaptation of short story The Gernsbeck Continum. This, despite his obvious influence on virtually every non-space opera science fiction film in the past 15 years.

Speaking of his involvement in the project, Cunningham said: “Film shouldn’t be about technology, that should be the background. Neuromancer is a thrilling story. It’s also about loads of ideas that Gibson had. It’s like a detective story where you don’t know what’s going on. I love things like that, that unfold.”

Gibson has said of Cunningham: “The guy’s a genius. He’s the man for the job.”