Rumor: Hayden Christensen Cast in William Gibson's Neuromancer
by Alex Billington
January 7, 2008
Back in May we posted the breaking news that William Gibson's beloved sci-fi novel Neuromancer was being adapted into a feature film. At that time, a director was attached, Joseph Kahn specifically, but no other casting confirmations came with it. Today, JoBlo revealed a rumor that Hayden Christensen, aka Darth Vader, is possibly in the running to play the main hacker character Case. The film is reported to have a budget $70 million but is really being filmed as an indie film with a big budget. Is it destined to suck now with Christensen in the lead, or does it still have a chance?
Neuromancer, (from Wikipedia) it tells the story of Case (to be played by Christensen), an out-of-work computer hacker hired by an unknown patron to participate in a seemingly impossible crime. The novel examines the concepts of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, genetic engineering, multinational corporations overpowering the traditional nation-state, and cyberspace long before these ideas became fashionable in popular culture. Filming is set to begin sometime early this year, but with the strike underway, it's still unclear whether this will actually head into production that soon.
I'm quite anxious to see Jumper, because it's one of Hayden's next major films since finishing Star Wars. He was also in Awake last fall, but that was a terrible movie itself. There is a chance he could prove everyone wrong and show that he is an "okay" actor and pull off a good movie, but we have yet to see. As optimistic as I am, I don't want to say that Neuromancer is ruined just yet, as it could turn out that Joseph Kahn could be a talented director who could yet turn out a mediocre performance from Christensen.
I'm not sure about Hayden as an actor. And I don't think it is fair to judge his acting abilities on the Star Wars films he was involved in. Why? I think Natalie Portman was equally bad in these films. And I *know* that she can act. So, I have to blame what appears as bad acting in the later Star Wars films on bad writing and bad directing. Both of which can really affect how well an actor can do his or her job. Here's to hoping Hayden is better than we think...I'd hate for him to spoil a classic.
Movie Lover on Jan 7, 2008
what movie lover said. bring this discussion back once jumper is out and I'll have an opinion.
Keith on Jan 7, 2008
Nooooo...not the Torque guy!
Micha? Andrzejczak on Jan 7, 2008
Acting chops aside, Hayden just seems too young/squeaky clean for the part. Seriously, can you see him taking a handful of pills & washing it down with a Japanese beer? As for Joseph Kahn, I may have been a little harsh on him for directing Spears' videos. But after hearing him talk (he's on the special feature documentaries in my Blade Runner special edition briefcase set: yay Christmas) He seems a pretty intelligent guy. (Plus if he's influenced by Blade Runner, that's half the cyberpunk battle right there.) Now for a really important question. Who's playing Molly?
jason_md2020 on Jan 7, 2008
I'm hoping with every fiber of my being that an adaptation of Neuromancer is going to be good because I'd hate to see Gibson's glorious vision shattered. I won't make comment on Christensen's involvement yet because I'm not convinced he's all that bad (this remains to be seen with Jumper) but I always pictured Case as being older. I can see the need for the studio to bring in the wired generation into the picture but they could do the same with someone a little more mature. Right now, I'm undecided about the whole thing.
Marina on Jan 7, 2008
Ppl need to give this kid a second chance. the problem with starwars ep 2-3 were that the writing and story sucked major ass, granted Hayden didnt really help himself with his uninspired performance but really, can anyone blame him considering what utter crap sw2-3 were?
lolumad on Jan 7, 2008
i personally feel he single handedly ruined star wars 2&3 but then again i know its lucas's fault for not being more hands on. i saw a preview for awake and im just wondering who gave the ok for that movie? what a terrible plot. but jumper looks like it could be pretty good, so well have to see that before passing judgement
harrison on Jan 7, 2008
I thought Christensen was pretty decent in 'Shattered Glass'. I think every actor gets a mulligan for a performance in a Star Wars movie, if only because of the ridiculous dialogue (and please bear in mind I'm a HUGE Star Wars fan). Even if he is as bad as we all seem to fear, at least he won't be as wooden as Keanu. Johnny Mnemonic, anyone?
John Madden on Jan 8, 2008
Ruined Star Wars? Awake a terrible movie? Lucas not being more hands on?(are you serious?) Those comments above are not very well thought out in my opinion. Christensen played Anakin Skywalker exactly how that role needed to be played. The SW prequels will always be looked at as second fiddle to the originals and will always be target to constant ridicule. Its safe to say that non of the 6 SW movies are actor driven. The original trilogy's warmth was missing from the prequels and that can be directed straight towards Lucas. Who was more than hands on as always. Christensen is a fine actor. It amazes me that his performance in Life as a House was not mentioned as one of his best performances as he did an amazing job as a trouble youth along side such a terrific performance by the always reliable Kevin Kline. Christensen brings to his roles a hidden sadness not to mention his inner struggle that was perfect for the Skywalker character. Jumper looks good, but a lot of movies look good in trailers. We wil truly have to wait and see. But I am looking forward to this one.
Xanatos on Jan 8, 2008
Xanatos is right, the short comings of the Star Wars prequels are solely on the shoulders of Lucas' over "hands on..ness". I'll judge Christensen after I see Jumper. Give the kid a chance!
tony5fingaz on Jan 10, 2008
DO NOT WANT Kahn (Torque) + Christensen (Star Wars) = bad idea Christensen may be a fine actor hampered by bad scripts and even worse directors. But he certainly hasn't proven himself in leading roles yet. Let's see how he does in Jumper, but I'm not keeping my hopes up at all, given that it's marketed as yet another mindless tech-heavy action flick. And behind the camera, we have Kahn -- gushing over how much he wouldn't suck at directing Neuromancer, especially in an "independent" way, claiming Torque (and whatever else he's done) was hampered by the studio system. Uhm, yeah. That may be true to some extent, but to watch Torque was an exercise in excruciating vomiting pain. The direction, visual style, camera work, etc, was simply terrible.
Noooooo on Jan 13, 2008
I hadn't really considered Christensen as Case...I don't think it would be too hard to cast a good person for that as long as the actor and director remember to keep Case "slacker". I'm really interested in seeing who they cast for Molly (I was thinking Milla Jovovich would be nice, but they might not be able to get her since she just had a baby). A veteran like De Niro would be great as Armitage...or they could go with someone like Rex Linn or Brian Dennehy. I'm wondering who would be 3Jane or Maelcum, though...Rose McGowan as 3Jane? Christina Ricci? And for Maelcum, someone like...Gary Dourdan? Omar Epps? Michael Clarke Duncan?
deusdiabolus on Mar 19, 2008
Chris Cunningham director, Aphex Twin Music... That, or have Terry Gilliam as a director. Those are the only two that could do it. And I would probably be able to die a happy man if it had an Aphex soundtrack.
chuck on Sep 23, 2008
New comments are no longer allowed on this post.
FOLLOW FS HERE
Follow Alex's main account on Twitter:
Add our posts to your Feedly › click here
Get all the news sent on Telegram
LATEST TO WATCH