Attack the Block director Joe Cornish is heading for a SNOW CRASH

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Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block was the very definition of a surprise hit. With no big name stars, no real crazy premise to hang a non-existent ad campaign off of, and a budget less than what I spent on Doritos this weekend, nobody would have predicted the crazy good film that we actually ended up getting. Featuring villains who are actually heroes and a low budget (no budget?) approach to creature effects that actually work, it was one of my highlights of 2011.

Well, Cornish is now going to have to bring all that imaginative resourcefulness and handling of complex characters to the table, as Deadline is reporting that the young director has been given the task of bringing Neal Stephenson’s cult classic science fiction tale, Snow Crash, to the big screen. A tale that many have considered unfilmable.

Cornish will be donning the dual hats of both writer and director on the project, like he did with Attack the Block, which is undoubtedly a blessing as adapting the story will be difficult enough without having to work off somebody else’s vision. Stephenson’s story is  considered to be one of the seminal works in the cyberpunk genre and influenced many of today’s biggest science fiction storytellers. It’s also completely batsh!t crazy.

Don’t believe me, check out this synopsis:

In California of the near future, when the U.S. is only a “Burbclave” (city-state), the Mafia is just another franchise chain (CosaNostrastet Pizza, Incorporated) and there are no laws to speak of, Hiro Protagonist – that’s the character’s name – a computer hacker/samurai swordsman/pizza delivery driver, follows clues from the Bible, ancient Sumer and high technology to help thwart an attempt to take control of civilization–such as it is. When he logs on to Metaverse, an imaginary place entered via computer, Hiro encounters Juanita Marquez, a “radical” Catholic and computer whiz. She warns him off Snow Crash (a street drug named for computer failure) and gives him a file labeled Babel (as in Tower of Babel). Another friend, sp ok/pk Da5id, who ignores Juanita’s warning, computer crashes out of Metaverse into the real world, where he physically collapses. Hiro, Juanita, Y.T. (a freewheeling, skateboard-riding courier) and sundry other Burbclave and franchise power figures see some action on the way to finding out who is behind this bizarre “drug” with ancient roots.

Like I said, crazier than a bag of wet cats.

Cornish will be making the film for Paramount, who according to the report is treating this as “a priority”. This is of course due to all Paramount’s scheduling woes recently, with their Ninja Turtles reboot being their third possible tentpole movie, after G.I. Joe: Retaliation and World War Z , to receive lengthy delays due to either additional scenes and/or script rewrites and reshoots. Longtime Steven Spielberg collaborator, Kathleen Kennedy, will be producing and hopefully she will able to steer this ship successfully.

And I am ashamed to admit, massive sci-fi geek that I am, that I have never read Stephenson’s book, but now’s as good a time as any I guess.


Last Updated: June 18, 2012

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