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Cast This: Case in Neuromancer (from Deadpool director Tim Miller)

08.16.2017

William Gibson's crucial 1984 futuristic novel NEUROMANCER has been wildly influential over the years  -- everything from movies like THE MATRIX and GHOST IN THE SHELL to countless videogames, comics, books, TV shows and real technology owes an incalculable debt to Gibson's seminal cyberpunk story.

But despite its undeniable impact, an actual movie adaptation of Gibson's book has struggled to emerge into reality. Not for lack of trying -- music video director Chris Cunningham, ERASER director Chuck Russell, TORQUE director Joseph Kahn and SPLICE director Vincenzo Natali all made attempts to drag the prescient tech tale through development hell.

The latest guy to take a crack at the project is DEADPOOL director Tim Miller, who will reportedly leverage his visual effects company Blur Studios to bring Gibson's prophetic vision of cyberspace and urban dystopia to life.

NEUROMANCER follows Henry Dorsett Case, a skilled computer hacker who gets caught stealing data from his employer and suddenly finds himself unable to access cyberspace. Case leaves behind the vast Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis (aka "The Sprawl") for the slums of Chiba City in Japan, where he tries to have his central nervous system repaired so he can return to work but instead finds himself in a suicidal spiral of drugs and murder.


Concept art of Chiba City for Vincenzo Natali's aborted adaptation

Case is tracked down by razorgirl Molly Millions, a heavily modified "street samurai" with mirror-eyes and razor-fingers. Molly has been contracted to retrieve him for an ex-military man called Armitage, who offers to repair Case's anatomical damage in exchange for a secret assignment (and ultimately gets Case's compliance using an ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK-style timed toxin).

During the course of their mysterious mission, Case and Molly encounter a wide variety of eccentric individuals such as psychopath Riviera, Rastafarian space pilot Maelcum, Case's hacker mentor Dixie Flatline (whose consciousness exists on a ROM), and Lady 3Jane, a leader of the company running space resort Freeside. On deeper investigation, Case and Molly discover that Armitage was actually recruited by Wintermute, an A.I. seeking to free itself from the limitations imposed to prevent it from becoming too powerful.

Although Case is described as being in his 20s and physically unremarkable, his age and appearance aren't particularly critical to the story, which leaves the potential for casting almost wide open (for example, Hayden Christensen and Mark Wahlberg were attached to the role in previous incarnations) as long as the actor can convincingly portray a ragged but skilled anti-hero.

So who should play drug-addicted "console cowboy" Case? A few suggestions:

Jon Hamm hasn't done anything quite like this yet, and his scene-stealing criminal in BABY DRIVER demonstrated that he's riveting even when seedy and desperate. Joseph Gordon-Levitt also seems like he'd be a solid pick to play the frayed hacker navigating the high-tech underworld, and for more of a left-field choice, how about Riz Ahmed (ROGUE ONE, NIGHTCRAWLER)?

Let us know below who you think could make a great Case!

As for the previous CAST THIS column, suggestions to play the son of Ivan Drago in ROCKY spinoff/sequel CREED 2 included:

1. Armie Hammer  2. Alex Pettyfer  3. William Skarsgard

Source: JoBlo.com

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