Paramount will try adapting Snow Crash for today's cyberpunks
As Cloud Atlas prepares to set a new standard for adaptations of "unadaptable" books—pretty much either way it turns out—Paramount is confidently moving forward on its own, similarly complex and potentially frustrating-to-translate cult favorite. According to Deadline, Attack The Block director Joe Cornish is set to write and direct a movie version of Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson's breakthrough 1992 novel and one of the defining books of the cyberpunk genre (even as Stephenson also satirizes the hell out of it). It's actually been a long time coming, as Paramount has been developing the project since the book's release, back when "cyberpunk" was just science-fiction fantasy and not the reality of the world we live in, what with all of us being l33t h4xx0rs on skateboards downloading drugs and listening to techno music.
Perhaps not being able to make the mental leap from America Online to avatars is what killed other cyberpunk films of that era such as Johnny Mnemonic and Strange Days, and perhaps today's generation will warm more to the idea of a fractured, anarcho-capitalist society that spends half its life in the virtual world, provided they can stop tweeting long enough to watch it. Anyway, Cornish's film is only in the early stages, so there's no indication yet of whom he might have in mind to play the cheekily named Hiro Protagonist, the samurai hacker pizza man who gets caught up in a complicated plot involving biolinguistic viruses, Sumerian mythology, and the Mafia. But considering Hiro is described as half-black/half-Japanese, as with those recent attempts to mount Akira, you can probably expect to read Paramount's suggested short list of white guys pretty soon.