Computers are taking over our lives as we speak. Today, we couldn’t imagine our days without a smartphone to wake us up in the morning, to accompany us on the loo for a time we spend alone reading the news and the social media updates we missed or playing fun games at minimum deposit casinos that will help us prepare for the day ahead. At work, we often use computers, too. And when we get home, we use them to consume the form of entertainment of our choice, no matter if it’s a game, a movie, a TV show or a music video streamed from a server far far away. And if we continue on this path, we might one day reach a point where the world depicted in some of these cyberpunk movies becomes a reality.
The Matrix is one of the most influential science fiction movies of the last two decades (it was released in 1999). It’s a bit of a genre-fluid piece of cinematic art, mixing everything from science fiction to post-apocalyptic anime with its dark cyberpunk base. It is a movie dominated by the very essence of William Gibson’s world, with oppressive corporate entities, a lawless hacker subculture, and a computer hacker as its protagonist. Sure, it soon turns into an old-school post-apocalyptic science fiction movie with a lot of philosophy and religion added to the mix, but this is what makes it unique.
Ghost in the Shell
Some say the live-action version of Mamoru Oshii’s famous anime was a disgrace. But if you look beyond its story, you’ll find an amazing example of cyberpunk cinema (and one that’s highly appreciated by those unfamiliar with the Japanese original). The story has everything it needs to qualify as one: a human brain integrated with neural networks and the internet, corporations ruling the world, and master hackers that are capable to break into pretty much every aspect of the humans’ (now completely) digital life.
Of course, I’m talking about the upcoming movie. It is a shame – and very surprising – that the genre-defining cyberpunk novel that gave us terms like “cyberspace” and the first glimpse into virtual reality hasn’t been adapted to the big screen. It’s even more surprising that only a handful of his short stories has ever found its way on the screen – most notably 1995’s “Johnny Mnemonic” and 1998’s “New Rose Hotel”.
Neuromancer is perfect for a big-screen version – it’s already a trilogy along with Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive, the two other books in the Sprawl trilogy. Last August, news about a Neuromancer movie broke, under the helm of Deadpool director Tim Miller. The movie is in its very early stages of production – but once it’s made, it should be one of the best cyberpunk movies ever.