Cube/Splice director is still beavering away bringing William Gibson’s seminal cyberpunk novel Neuromancer to the big screen but now it’s got a significant leg up in the shape of heavyweight Hollywood producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.
He’s a verteran of the business, who’s been behind some of the biggest action movies of the last 10 years. He’s based at Paramount at the moment where he’s help to shepherd (for better or worse) big name movies like Salt, Red, GI Joe and the Transformers franchise to the big screen. More notably, he used to be at Warners were he was behind the Harry Potter series and most significantly for Neuromancer, The Matrix trilogy.
As The Matrix cribbed a great deal of its ideas directly from Neuromancer (some would say influenced, less charitable folks might say “stole”), Bonaventura probably has a good handle on what the aesthetics need for a good cyberpunk film.
But even though di Bonaventura has hopped on board, it doesn’t mean that Natali will be jumping to the beat of big studio business. Its budget remains a fairly conservative $60m and it’s still going to be an independent film.
Jay Firestone, already on board Natali’s film through his Prodigy Pictures banner, explains that “Lorenzo and Mark [Vahradian, di Bonaventura’s producing partner] bring a wealth of success and experience to this project. Having them on board solidifies a strong and creative team that is dedicated to producing [a] groundbreaking and thought provoking cult classic.”
Gibson has previously been quite reticent to see it brought to the big screen and is (perhaps justifiably) fearful of his baby being mutilated. He’s supportive of Natali’s project but has previously expressed the opinion that Chris Cunningham (the brains most famously behind a lot of Aphex Twin’s videos) is the only person capable of doing the film correctly. No pressure on Natali then.
Shooting begins later this year with a projected autumn 2013 release date.