A movie adaptation of William Gibson’s seminal cyberpunk opus Neuromancer has been in the works for years, passing from one potential creative team to the next. It’s currently in development with director Vincenzo Natali (Splice) at the helm. Now there’s another sign that the Neuromancer movie might finally gain some traction, with actors Mark Wahlberg and Liam Neeson in talks to star in the film.
Published in 1984, Neuromancer is the story of Henry Dorsett Case, formerly a brilliant hacker who was caught stealing from his boss and stripped of his ability to “jack in” to cyberspace as punishment. Case is suicidal, depressed, and hooked on drugs. He probably would have ended up dead in an alley if not for the intervention of Molly Millions, a badass mercenary who takes Case to see a mysterious man named Armitage. Case is offered a deal: Armitage will repair Case’s brain in exchange for a couple of jobs. Unfortunately, the gig is not as simple as it sounds.
According to Moviehole, Liam Neeson is being courted for the role of Armitage, and that’s a solid casting choice. On the other hand, Mark Wahlberg would be playing Case, a concept that causes my brain to want to crawl out through my nose and retire to Florida. It’s not that I object to Wahlberg inherently; he’s done some good work in movies like The Departed, and he’s also surprisingly good at playing the straight man in comedies such as Ted and The Other Guys. But Wahlberg as Case? Not only can I not see it, I couldn’t see it even if I pointed the Hubble telescope at it. Sure, I’ve been surprised before – Heath Ledger as the Joker, for instance – but Wahlberg just seems completely wrong for the role.
Assuming he accepts the role, here’s hoping I’m proven wrong on this one. Neuromancer is expected to hit theaters sometime in 2014.