The first rumours have bobbed up and they see Mark Wahlberg and Liam Neeson considering offers to take key roles.
According to Moviehole, Wahlberg has been given the call for the part of Case, the story’s protagonist. In William Gibson original novel, Henry Dorsett Case is a sometime hacker or ‘cyber cowboy’ looking for a cure to the damage inflicted upon his nervous system after stealing from a powerful contractor.
Meanwhile, it’s said that Liam Neeson has had the offer to play Armitage. It’s a good role: a morally dubious ex-military officer who offers Case a cure if he completes a risky, way-way-way-off-the-books hacking job. As the story develops, Armitage undergoes a drastic transformation and it would give Neeson a lot to chew over.
I can’t say that Wahlberg has ever come to mind when I’ve contemplated the novel, but I’ve not read Natali’s adaptation, and we don’t know how he’s interpreting the character. Wahlberg’s absolutely aced it before, of course – see The Fighter, first and foremost – so if he’s coming on board, I’m more than happy.
And Neeson has both the kind of box office draw that this kind of picture can use, and going way back further than his oddball, unexpected marquee value, the acting chops.
Hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot more movement on this film now. Moviehole suggest that a 2014 release is possible – coinciding nicely with the 30th anniversary of the novel’s publication. That’s an encouragingly zippy turn around, particularly when compared to Natali’s more regular production rhythms.
Next question: who to play Molly Millions? That’s the star part.