Update About the WorldFest Incident, Including Recent News Articles

Edit (4/26): The newest, (I think) the most clear and useful, and (I hope) the last article about this incident, from whatculture.com’s contributor Aeryk Pierson, who was a third-party witness to the incident.

Edit (4/25): One last Houston Chronicle article, that was posted online on Wednesday (4/24).

Edit (8pm): Just as I was writing this post, a sort-of apology was posted on the World Fest Facebook page.  Please feel free to read the post on their Facebook page, but I will also quote it at the bottom of this post so it is easier to find.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to give an update on the WorldFest incident and what has been happening in the last two days.  I thought the initial post was becoming too heavy with edits and updates. On the other hand, I’m worried that people will not see this update because the news stories have so far linked to my initial post.

In any case, just to fill everyone in who may (or may not) care:

As of 7:00pm on Tuesday, three separate online news sources have covered the story:

Houston Press, The Houston Chronicle, and Culture Map Houston.

These articles attempt to portray both sides of the story: my brother’s and Hunter Todd’s, and for the most part they have been fair.  The Houston Press article ran mostly based upon my blog and my brother’s facebook post. They attempted to contact Hunter Todd without success, but later added his response when he contact them.  The Houston Chronicle article interviewed Hunter Todd, but only ran with the information  from Mike’s facebook post. Mike later contacted the Chronicle because they had a few facts wrong, which they have now changed, but they did not add any additional comments from Mike. The Culture Map article did interview BOTH Hunter Todd and Mike.  I think Hunter Todd’s responses in each article speak for themselves.  I found it terrifying that Hunter Todd does not deny searching the Muslim student’s bag, and even explains that he did so BECAUSE she was wearing a hijab and demands: “What am I supposed to do?  Allow a terrorist to blow up 200 people?” (quoted in the Houston Chronicle article). THAT, my friends, is the DEFINITION of profiling.

I am concerned about a few things, however. Hunter Todd is resorting to character attacks on my brother, calling him a liar – particularly in regards to Mike’s claim that Hunter Todd tried to take his phone.  AND YET, at least one University of Houston student and one other WorldFest attendant (who commented on my initial blog) have CONFIRMED that Hunter Todd did in fact try to take Mike’s phone.  Unfortunately, neither the Houston Chronicle article nor the Culture Map article have included this information (and the Houston Press article only briefly mentions it), despite the fact that both witnesses said they were willing to go on record to corroborate the story. Thus, the news stories make it LOOK as if it is merely a case of he said/he said, with no proof on other side — when in fact TWO witnesses CAN and are WILLING to confirm at least parts of my brother’s version of events.

On TOP of this: from what I understand, The School of Communications at University of Houston have written a formal letter in defense of both the Muslim student and my brother.  Apparently, Hunter Todd has given a response.  I do not know what either letter contained, however, because the School of Communications has so far made neither their letter nor the response public.  This is unfortunate, as the fact that no one is aware that the University has become involved makes it even easier for Hunter Todd to attack Mike’s character with impunity, because the news articles present Mike as if he is a lone unsupported voice.  I fervently hope that the School of Communications, and preferably the whole University, will publicly support both the Muslim student and my brother and help to defend them both from accusations of lying.

And let me add this: Obviously, I was not at the event and I did not witness this incident. I am only involved so far as spreading the word is concerned. But I believe and trust my brother.  Besides which, what POSSIBLE motive could he have for lying about ANY of this?  I hope you all who have showed an interest and concern about this will continue to support us, and particularly my brother, as this situation moves forward, because I fear it is going to get worse before it gets better, and I do not want my brother to run under the bus because he was trying to do the right thing.

Thank You.

PS: on a side note, some of the comments on the Houston Chronicle article are absolutely HORRIFYING, and just go to show how far and how deep these ignorant, racist, Islamaphobic attitudes run. It makes me horribly sad.

The “apology” post from the World Fest Houston Facebook page:

WorldFest sincerely regrets any actions that were misconstrued or deemed offensive due to the recent situation during the organization’s master class at the Westchase Marriott this past weekend. WorldFest organizers acted on instinct for the safety of all based on the recent events in Boston. The emergency alarm and evacuation of the hotel resulted in great concern for the organization which felt its actions were justified to protect the well-being of all participants. WorldFest apologizes for responding in a way that may have seemed insulting but ultimately, everyone’s safety was the primary concern.

WorldFest plans to increase security in 2014 so festival staff can focus solely on enriching Houston’s film culture. WorldFest strives to provide a safe environment for persons of every background to collaborate with and learn from international film and filmmakers through cultural exchange, dialogue and master classes. As always, the festival and all of its events are open to the general public. We hope every culture, religion and nationality will be represented in the 47th annual WorldFest-Houston, April 2014.

Hunter Todd
WorldFest Founder and Chief Executive Officer

I hope you’ll forgive me for giving my own opinion of this post (I suppose I should just let you come to your own conclusions, but it is my blog, so I guess I’m entitled to share my opinion). This is the worst kind of false apology, one I’ve seen many times under a variety of circumstances, in which the person apologizes but insisted it was all a big misunderstanding, and thus not REALLY his/her fault, and implying that it is really the victim’s fault for “misconstruing” and therefore over-reacting. Furthermore, this “apology” such as it is only apologizes for what he claims was a legitimate security concern (which is ludicrous), and does not even admit to the secondary problem: that Hunter Todd did, in fact, have physical contact with my brother and tried to take his phone.  I hope the public will see this frantic face-saving move for the B.S. it is.

“Make It Rain” by Chris Spisak

Hello folks! I wanted to take just a few moments of your time to pitch an Indiegogo project that is trying to raise money right now. It’s for a short film called “Make It Rain” by Chris Spisak, a local Houston filmmaker. I’m a big fan of supporting local artists and indie filmmakers. Also, my brother knows the filmmaker, which is a good enough reason for me.

Here’s the pitch for the film:

MAKE IT RAIN (2013)

Written and Directed by Chris Spisak
Starring Dave MaldonadoCandice BarleyJohn McClainJohn LopezA story about basketball, youthful innocence, and the power of hope, Make It Rain tells the story of a young boy’s efforts to help his family overcome the effects of a devastating drought which result in a magical night he won’t soon forget.The film is currently raising funds for a summer 2013 shoot.  To learn more about how you can be a part of the Make It Rain team and gain exclusive access to the making of the film and receive other fantastic perks, visit our fundraising page here!

Once more, here is the link to the Indiegogo page, including their salespitch video: “Make It Rain” 

If that doesn’t give you enough to go off of, and you’d like to know a bit more about Chris Spisak before you decide if you’re going to back him or not, you can check out his previous short films (which have been presented at several film festivals in Texas) on his website here: Two 21 Entertainment.I’d appreciate it if you could take a look. And even if you can’t afford to donate right now (though even a few dollars helps), please consider spreading the word.

Thanks!

Arrietty’s Secret is She’s Boring

So, I finally got around to seeing The Secret World of Arrietty, and as you may be able to guess from the title of this post, I was not less than impressed.

For those who aren’t in the know, The Secret World of Arrietty is a Japanese animated film, produced by Studio Ghibli, based on the novel The Borrowers by Mary Norton, with a screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki (of Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle fame), directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, and distributed in the U.S. by Disney (as most of the Studio Ghibli films have been).

Now, I’ve never read the original book, which may or may not be a good thing in trying to evaluate this movie, so everything I say is based purely on the movie and Miyazaki’s adaptation, rather than the novel itself.  I’m going to skip an involved summary because I think most people know the basic story, but generally: it’s about Arrietty and her family, the tiny Borrowers who live in the floorboards of a house and “borrow” things they need to survive.

As always with Miyazaki, the animation was gorgeous.  Simply GORGEOUS.  He and his production crew have an amazing eye for color and detail and depth – every scene is lush and vivid and inviting, full of life and color and a strong feeling of nostalgia.  That has not changed with this movie.  I think I will always be impressed and awed by the art direction in all of Studio Ghibli’s movies, and nothing can change that.  For example, check these out:

The problem starts, for me, with the voice acting.  I have grown quite sick of Disney’s management of the Studio Ghibli films they bring to the U.S.  Their casting choices are often horrendous.  I hated most of the voice-acting in Ponyo, and I hated ALL of the voice-acting in Arrietty.  It was astoundingly bad.  Not only did they cast a couple annoying, talentless, Disney Channel “actors” (Bridgit Mendler and David Henrie) but even Carol Burnett (whom I usually adore) did an atrocious job.  And Will Arnett, who played Arrietty’s father, was so flat and lifeless I thought for sure they had actually hired a zombie version of him.

To make matters worse: the SINGING!  Normally, Joe Hisaishi composes the scores for Miyazaki’s films, but this time they hired a French songwriter/singer named Cecile Corbel.  I’ll say this, she is a good composer.  I liked the score, and the songs with lyrics had nice melodies.  Sadly, I don’t understand WHY she’s a popular singer, because her voice was so tinny, infantile, and cloying I wanted to throw up every time she started singing.  And she did at least three times through the course of the movie.  In comparison, Bridgit Mendler’s song during the credits was almost bearable.  ALMOST.

What’s really sad though, is that even if Disney had cast better voice-actors, and even if Cecile Corbel had found someone else to do the singing for her, it would not have been enough to save this movie.  The plot was, sadly, really REALLY BORING.  It was slow and dragging.  By the end of the first half-hour I was tempted to turn it off.  It lacked all the depth, liveliness, and touches of humor that Miyazaki’s films normally have.  And after  Ponyo (which was cute, but fairly forgettable) and THIS, I’m really beginning to worry that Miyazaki has lost his touch completely.

And if that’s true, it’s a sad sad day in cinema.

Movie Review: It’s Fright Night Again

Science/Fantasy Monday: It’s Fright Night Again

I’ve been doing a lot of these Sunday morning movies (gotta love AMC’s $5 morning movie tickets!). This past Sunday was Fright Night.

I was looking forward to this movie for a couple reasons I love movies that mix classic horror elements with dark comedy (like Zombieland), and I love David Tennant, who plays Peter Vincent in the movie.  So I went to this movie, not expecting anything brilliant or intellectual (because seriously, do you go to a vampire movie for intelligence or drama? No, you go for blood and gore, and in this case, some great one-liners), but expecting to have fun.  And I did.

Fright Night begins with a seemingly harmless cookie-cutter suburb outside Las Vegas, where high-school senior Charley lives with his single-mother.  The audience is allowed a little time to get to know Charley he’s recently ditched his nerdy best friend, Ed, to enter into the “cool” cliques, earning him his gorgeous girlfriend, Amy; he’s very protective of his mother after his father ran out on them an unspecified number of years earlier.  At the same time, the audience learns that Charley’s mother is a realtor trying to bring new people into their neighborhood, which is dying as more and more people move out.  To this end, she sells the house next door to a man named Jerry, who keeps odd hours and has blacked-out windows (you can see where this is going, yes?).  I don’t think I’m giving too much away (as it happens in the first 20 minutes of the movie) when I tell you that Charley’s old best friend, Ed, has been spying on Jerry, and tells Charles that his next-door-neighbor must be a vampire.  The next day, Ed disappears, and Charley begins to realize that he may have been right.  Now, Charley must protect his mother and girlfriend from the vampire next door, and enlist the help of Peter Vincent Las Vegas stage magician and vampire expert before he becomes the next victim.

Fright Night is a remake of an old 80’s campy horror movie of the same name, but I haven’t seen the original so I can’t do a comparison here.  Instead, I’m taking the movie on its own merits.

Charley is played by baby-faced Anton Yelchin.  Yelchin is only 22 years old, and is still fairly new to the scene, but he already has two huge blockbusters under his belt.  He played Chekhov in the newest Star Trek movie, and he played a young Kyle Reese in Terminator: Salvation.  If this doesn’t tell you something about his acting ability, his potential, and the good opinion directors obviously have of him, than nothing will.  He’s young, but he’s good.  And he’s going to get better.  Fast.  In Fright Night, he plays a conflicted, well-meaning, determined teenager with energy and empathy.  And I look forward to his next projects.

Jerry the Vampire is played by Colin Farrell not my favorite actor by any stretch of the imagination, but he does a surprisingly good job here, playing equal parts creepy and oddly funny, in a strange, off-kilter way.  Sometimes the way he moves, cocks his head, lifts his arms, and so forth is almost awkward (especially in the early scenes when Jerry is obviously trying to hide his identity from his neighbors), that you just can’t help but laugh at this vampire who can’t quite “play” human.

The girlfriend, Amy, is played by Imogen Poots (and there’s a regrettable name if I’ve ever heard one), who was pretty all she needed to be: pretty, mostly-believable as a high school student, and at least a decent enough actress not to drag down the script or the other actors.  She wasn’t bad, but she wasn’t anything to write home about either.  But honestly, the part didn’t require that she be a fantastic dramatic actress anyway, so no harm done.

And, of course, David Tennant (of Doctor Who fame) played Peter Vincent.  Now, this character was interesting, and Tennant’s portrayal was hilarious: he’s a Las Vegas stage magician (long black wig, lots of black eye-liner, and black leather, you know the type), but he’s also an expert in the paranormal, who is well known for his collection of artifacts and information about vampires.  You quickly find out, too, that for all his knowledge of vampires, he’s terrified of doing anything about them, and would much rather run and hide.  Tennant plays him up as crass, foul-mouthed, arrogant, more than a little cowardly an absolute mess.  And he’s hilarious.

As for special effects… Well, it was filmed for 3D, but I didn’t see it in 3D because I just don’t like it.  I think it’s mainly a gimmick.  However, the usual movie special effects were fairly effective.  Lots of blood-splatter, a severed arm or two, and the like made an appearance.  And the vampires (yes, there were more than one by the end), did more than just look human in feeding frenzy, their faces transformed into almost shark-like gaping mouths with lots and lots of sharp teeth.  The CGI for this effect wasn’t the best ever, but it wasn’t bad, and the touch of campiness added more to the fun than anything else.  (At least the vampires didn’t sparkle.)

Finally, the writing (story by Tom Holland, screenplay by Marti Noxon, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame):  Again, you don’t go to this kind of movie expecting brilliant writing, touching drama, etc etc, blah blah blah.  And you’re not going to find that here.  The story is fairly formulaic, and everything that happens is pretty much exactly what you expect to happen.  There are no surprises here.  Also, despite the R rating, this is not a scary movie.  Sure, there’s blood (but more often than not, the camera pans away from what would be the really gory bits), and I think the R rating has more to do with the language (including Tennant’s hilariously excessive use of “fuck”).  If you’re expecting a horror movie, this isn’t it.  It’s more a dark comedy with horror elements.  But that’s what made it fun for me.  Quite a lot of this movie was just flat-out hilarious (sometimes including the blood-splatter).

Final verdict: If you liked Zombieland, you should like Fright Night.  It’s not as clever or original, but it is a lot of fun.  (And if you’re a David Tennant fan: he’s shirtless. ‘Nuff said.)

If you’ve seen Fright Night already, what’s your opinion?  Did you enjoy it?  Were you expecting something else?  If you’ve seen the original as well, how do the two compare?

The Apes Will Rise: a review of Rise of the Planet of the Apes

This is the inaugural post of my new themed blog days: Science/Fantasy Monday.  For an explanation of this see my ‘About’ page or “Rearranging the Furniture.”

On Sunday I went to the movies to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes with my brother.  We were both rather excited about it because we both loved the original Planet of the Apes movies, and after the fiasco that was the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes, we were more the ready for a good version.  And Rise of the Planet of the Apes delivered.  It more than delivered.

My expectations for the movie, based on the previews and what I’d heard about it, were pretty high.  And yet the movie somehow managed to far exceed those expectations.

For those of you unfamiliar with the plot: scientist Will Rodman is attempting to create drug to cure Alzheimer’s (which has claimed his father) and is in the process of testing the drug on apes.  It appears that the drug is successful, repairing damage to one apes brain and increasing her intelligence.  Unfortunately, due to a violent outburst mistakenly attributed to a side-effect of the drug, the test is canceled by Will’s boss and all the apes are put down.  However, the ape whose test had been successful had had a violent outburst because she had just given birth, so Will sneaks the newborn ape out of the lab and to his home in order to save its life.  Only later does he realize that the drug had been passed on the baby, making him extremely intelligent.  His father names the ape Caesar and the two raise him for years as he grows in intelligence.  When Caesar’s existence is discovered, he is taken away by court order to a ape house where the animals are severely mistreated, and the hyper intelligent Caesar begins plotting escape.  From here, things just get crazy.

While Will is obviously an important character, he is more a catalyst for the action than he is anything else.  The real main character of the story is very obviously Caesar, and it is his story of development, discovery, abandonment, and his rise to leadership and liberation that are the emotional core of the movie.

Let’s start with one of the most obvious elements and get it out of the way: the CGI (done by Weta Digital, who else?).  Unlike the original movies and the 2001 remake, which used costumes for the apes, this movie used CGI exclusively (using an abundance of reference to live actors, stunt doubles, and footage of real apes in action.  It was all beautifully done.  The detail was amazing, the movements were realistic, and the interaction between the CGI and the live actors was very well done.  The CGI was amazing, and it would have been much more difficult to enter into the reality of the story without realistic-looking apes.

We’ve got that out of the way now, right?  Yes?  Okay, good.  Let’s talk about Andy Serkis.

You may now him as Smeagol/Gollum from Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings.  He was also King Kong in Peter Jackson’s remake of that movie.  Peter Jackson really loves working with Andy Serkis, but seriously, who doesn’t?  Andy Serkis, in combination with some really spot-on writing, MAKES this movie.  Andy Serkis played Caesar.  In order to make this movie as believable as possible, the director had Andy Serkis act out all the scenes with the full cast when you see Will (played by James Franco) hold Caesar’s hand, it is Andy Serkis that he is physically touching, not empty air.  Serkis wore a suit covered in tracking dots and other things to track his movements, right down to his facial expressions, so that all of this could then be incorporated into the CGI image of Caesar the ape.

But Andy Serkis is not just a place holder from CGI wizardry.  He is a serious actor playing a serious part to perfection.  He researched meticulously in order to get the movements, posture, and attitude just right. And while he doesn’t speak a word throughout his performance, his facial expressions and movement breathed life into what otherwise would have been nothing but a cypher.  This movie does not work unless the audience feels sympathy, affection, and even empathy with Caesar.  We have to feel for him, feel outraged on his behalf, and triumphant with him, or the movie falls apart at the seams.  Andy Serkis (as well as the writing), make this possible.

There have been petitions, on behalf of Andy Serkis, for the Academy Awards to change its rules so that an actor who portrays a character that is then animated through CGI can still be nominated for the Best Actor Award.  After this performance by Andy Serkis, the Academy should be seriously considering it.

While I’m on the topic of actors… James Franco, who played Will, did a surprisingly good job.  Let me say this about James Franco: sometimes he can be a very good actor and sometimes he can be extremely wooden and sometimes he just seems to be high on something.  He has a lot of potential, I think, he just isn’t consistent at all.  So I was a little worried about how he would do in this movie.  Thankfully, he seemed to take this role seriously, and the movie was better for it.

John Lithgow, who played Will’s father, also did a very good job with what could have been a fairly minor role for another actor.  Lithgow’s portrayal of a father with Alzheimer’s is first and foremost an instigator for Will’s actions, but Lithgow gives a touching, sympathetic performance which highlights the pain of victims of all forms of dementia, as well as their families.

Tom Felton (best known as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies), also makes a fine showing as one of the assholes who works at the ape house that mistreats Caesar and all the other apes.  Tom Felton is extremely adept at playing douche-bag villains.  I nearly cheered when he met his demise.

I should also add that a movie like this needs a smart, detail-oriented director, which they obviously got in Rupert Wyatt.  This is, apparently, only Wyatt’s second time directing a feature-length movie.  It’s amazing that a virtual unknown newbie managed to land this gig at all, and even more impressive that this newbie proved himself more than up to the task.  He’ll definitely be worth keeping an eye out for in the future.

Last, but certainly not least, I come to the writing.  This version was written and produced by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, inspired by the original novel by Pierre Boulle.  And they did an absolutely fantastic job with both the source material and their new take on it.  While based on the premise of the 4th movie in the original Planet of the Apes series: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, this movie is vastly different.  Both movies focus quite heavily on animal cruelty but do so in entirely different ways.  The plot presented in Rise of the Planet of the Apes is far more believable a credit to the research and detail that went into the writing.  What is most striking about this movie, however, is that it not an action flick.  It is a serious drama with a bit of action tacked on to the end.  It is almost painful to watch in parts.  This movie is about science: its role, its potential, its consequences, and the dangers of treating it like a “business” whose main (perhaps only) goal is making money.  This is a movie about the ethical treatment of animals. About family and loyalty.  It asks hard questions about what makes something sentient, what makes something worthy of respect.

I honestly cannot stress enough how brilliant and touching this movie was.  It was not only extremely good science fiction, it was astoundingly important social commentary and human drama as well.  Everyone needs to see this movie, whether you liked (or even saw) the originals or not.  Go.  Now.  Then come tell me what you think.  It’s okay, I’ll wait here for you to get back.  You can thank me later.

And if you have seen it already, chime in!  I’d love to hear you what you think!

(Side Note: clicking on each image will take you to the article I took the image from.)

A Sci-Fi Fan’s Wet Dream: Neuromancer Finally to be a Film

"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel." - 1st line of Neuromancer

It is FINALLY happening!  This may be the best news a science fiction fan will hear this year (for me, possibly this decade).  After more than twenty years of waiting, rumors, speculation, and pre-production limbo, someone is finally going to put Neuromancer on film.  In 1984, William Gibson wrote his seminal science fiction novel Neuromancer, and kicked-off the cyberpunk genre.  This novel, is about many things, but the basic plot (without giving too much away) is this:

Henry Case was a talented hacker until his employer burned him, damaging his central nervous system with a mycotoxin so that he can no longer connect to his brain-computer interface and enter cyberspace.  In Japan, desperate, drug-addicted, and more than a little suicidal, Case searched the “black clinics” for a cure, until he is contacted by Molly Millions, an augmented “street samurai” or “razorgirl” who offers to cure him in exchange for his services as a hacker.  Of course, Case is too desperate to say no.

And so Case finds himself working for Molly’s employer, an ex-soldier named Armitage, who will not reveal what he really wants, what the plan is, or who he works for.  The first thing they must do is steal the “saved consciousness” of McCoy Pauley, the legendary cyber-cowboy who once mentored Case and who’s mind was downloaded into a ROM construct upon his death.  Next, the must recruit Peter Riviera, an artist, drug addict, thief, and socio-path, who can project holographic illusions using cybernetic implants.

As Case and Molly accomplish each goal Armitage sets for them, they also decide to find out who Armitage really is, and who he’s working for.  Eventually, they discover that Armitage is really Colonel Willis Corto, the only survivor of a secret operation to infiltrate and disrupt Russian computer systems.  The only discover that their real employer is in fact an AI named Wintermute, who has constructed the Armitage personality out of Willis Corto’s broken mind for its own purposes.  However, what Wintermute really wants, and why it sends Case and the others to Villa Straylight, a mansion on a space station in orbit of Earth, remains to be seen.

I cannot stress the importance of this novel enough.  It was not the very first cyberpunk story, but it quickly became one of (perhaps the) definitive example.  It coined the phrase cyberspace, as well as matrix, which the Wachowski Brothers later borrowed for their cyberpunk movie The Matrix.  Gibson’s ideas about hackers (also called console-cowboys or cyber-cowboys), cyberspace, interconnected computer systems, AIs, cybernetic augmentations, etc. lead the way for many, many science fictions movies and novels to come.  It was the first novel ever to win the “science fiction triple crown” – The Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick awards.  And Time magazine included it in the 100 best novels written in the English language since 1923.  (It also happens to be one of my all-time favorite books EVER.)

For years and years, people have been trying to get this book made into a movie.  There have been all sorts of rumors floating around about this production company or that director buying the rights, being signed on, etc.  But for years nothing has come of it.  Finally, however, on Thursday, May 19th, the official announcement was made that the sales rights were secured at the Cannes Film Festival, and pre-production has, in fact, already begun.  Vincenzo Natali, who directed Splice and Cube, has been signed on to direct.  The film will reportedly be co-produced by Seven Arts Pictures and GFM Films.  Filming is slated to begin in 2012 in Canada, London, Instanbul, and Tokyo.

I’ll admit I have some concerns.  I haven’t seen either Splice or Cube, so I can’t speak to Vincenzo Natali’s fitness as a director (though, as some others have said, I think Chris Nolan would have been an inspired choice, if they could have gotten him).  And I know that Seven Arts Pictures is an independent production company based in the UK, who haven’t produced any particularly well-known films (as far as I know), so Neuromancer might not get the big budget it deserves and needs to really translate Gibson’s vision to film.  However, at this point, I will take anything I can get, and I intend to remain cautiously optimistic until I see the first trailer.

This novel has been a huge influence on me.  While I mainly write fantasy, I have a few science fiction WIPs sitting on my computer and percolating in the back of my brain.  I’ve always wanted to write a cyberpunk novel, thanks mainly to the influence of Neuromancer and Terminator.  I think everyone should read this novel.  And I hope that the movie does the book justice.  But now, all I can do is wait.

Some Useful Links:

Amazon page for Neuromancer

Neuromancer wikipedia page

Los Angeles Times article announcing the deal with Natali