‘Attack the Block’ director Joe Cornish set to direct ‘Snow Crash’

Will Perkins
Wide ScreenJune 15, 2012

Since his debut film "Attack the Block" became an instant cult hit, Brit writer/director Joe Cornish has found himself in very high demand as a filmmaker. Cornish, who co-wrote Steven Spielberg's motion capture romp "The Adventures of Tintin" with pals Edgar Wright ("Hot Fuzz") and Stephen Moffat ("Doctor Who"), has a lot of work coming down the pipe. In addition to co-writing the script of Marvel's planned "Ant Man" movie with Wright, Cornish has just landed a gig directing the big screen adaptation of Neal Stephenson's science fiction novel "Snow Crash."

Stephenson's cyberpunk book follows the adventures of Hiro Protagonist, a sword-fighting hacker living in a hellish future where the United States has ceded power to multinational corporations and billionaires. Things kick into high gear when the aptly named Hiro and his skateboarding courier friend Y.T. (Yours Truly) discover the truth about a popular new drug called "Snow Crash," which infects the minds of hackers in both cyberspace and the real world like a virus.

Adapting a novel like "Snow Crash" for the big screen is an ambitious undertaking. Cyberpunk has rarely been done well on on film (watch "Johnny Mnemonic" for proof), with "Blade Runner" perhaps being one of the only notable examples of the genre done right. Filmmakers have always had difficulty portraying certain aspects of cyberpunk on film, namely elements like the virtual worlds that often play a pivotal role in such fiction. The Canadian film adaptation of William Gibson's seminal cyberpunk book "Neuromancer," which is currently being developed by "Splice" director Vincenzo Natali, is facing some of those issues right now.

As for "Snow Crash," the project has quite literally been in the works for nearly two decades at Paramount, which recently reacquired the film rights after originally optioning them in 1992. It's unknown at this point whether Cornish will try to imbue the film version with some of his comic sensibilities or go for the harsher and more satirical tone found in the book.

There is currently no release date for "Snow Crash."

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