Grunting at the Screen (248)

 

 

The information age isn’t finished with us.

 

 

I complain constantly that the film blogs don’t have news on them. And if you are looking for something beyond the usual franchise films, well, they don’t.

 

However this week I discovered more science fiction films in a morning than I found in a month of checking out the blogs. I won’t tease; try the trailers. Go and look for brand new trailers and you will find a ton of stuff you have never seen. Now I have no idea when, where and how these films are getting a release.

But here is some stuff for your interest.

 

 

 

Ran into Noa a Post-holocaust drama while looking for trailers; The scenario is that the world has ended, I’m not interested how, no wait, it was the nukes (I love the classics…) So people are living like rats in the nuclear winter as usual when salvation occurs in the shape of an evil corporation.. Hey wait just because it is a corporation it does not mean it has to be evil… no, no, actually it does. So the Corporation comes with a big spaceship offering to save everyone, but there is, as usual, a price.

Philip Hofmänner and Simon Pflanzer are the film makers.

Now this is not a regular film, there was no indication whether it was feature or short (or trailer for a freaking game!) what is evident is that it is not finished and they were trying to raise money on Kickstarter, (they failed.) The trailer was professional, the performances seem adequate and the FX not cringeworthy (Better than fifty percent of the straight to disk movies I’ve seen) hopefully it will find another way to complete financing. It looks like they are persisting with a goal of finishing and premiering in March 2019.

 

Now I am hoping the other films I discovered are 1) completed, 2) actually feature films.

 

What I cannot guarantee is that they are any better that the usual straight-to-disk fare that litter the supermarket shelves. (Boy I am regretting ever complaining there were not enough cheap Science Fiction movies, come back Zombies, all is forgiven… just kidding)

 

 

 

Wastlander looks terrible, it looks like a cheap Mad Max knock-off, I was not even going to blog it, but as it is no worse looking than some of the other new discoveries I thought I’d throw it in. An ex-soldier leads a ban of survivors in search of a safe haven called Eden. Director is Angelo Lopes and it has just been released

 

 

 

Crossbred; the president sends a team of military veterans to retrieve an alien bio-weapon from a space station. Director is Brandon Slagle.

It looks typically straight-to-disk, it looks like a bit of a catch-all (to be polite); the background looks cyberpunk with the digitally created cityscapes, it takes place in space (for no real reason) and it has a team of ‘badasses’ (although from what I see they scarcely graduate to the level of naughty ponies) in search of a dangerous biological entity. Ah yes, it is our old friend; the Alien rip off. This sub-genre is almost as old as Alien itself (… obviously…) So I expect a lot of creeping through dark corridors while the team are plucked off one by one, and if the climax does not happen in an airlock well it will happen somewhere else!

 

 

Chimera looks like the best of the bunch. Not too sure about a plot, a scientist who is also a father is on the trail of biological research that might well also save his son. As ever the evil corporation (see above) wants to do something bad with his research and also with his son. The performances look superior, the plot; like it might have depth.

It’s directed by Maurice Haeems.

 

 

 

“The Capture”: An experiment with space and time crosses a boundary that could change and even destroy – everything we know.

Director is Jim Agnew

 

 

 

This is the month where movies get adapted as TV shows.

First up is Gareth Edwards’ feature Monsters; Vertigo Films is the production company who are making it for the UK’s Channel 4. They plan to sell it on to Netflix or Amazon.

 

Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer Pilot was picked up for a Series by TNT. The pilot was directed by Scott (Sinister, Doctor Strange) Derrickson.

 

 

Keanu Reeves’ John Wick TV Series is going to Starz. This one will not be called “”, it is a spin-off set in the feature film’s universe and called `”The Continental” will tell the story of the hotel where the world’s assassin elite can relax and hide out between jobs. Starz are promising thrilling action scenes.

 

I’m encouraged by this trend. It is not hugely original but it recognises that some of the most interesting work now happens on Television. Big ideas that formerly were deemed unsuitable for TV are now migration to broadcasters and streaming services, and the prestige or the media is rising with it.

 

 

 

Even though the current incarnation was only announced last spring I thought Ang Lee’s Gemini Man was dead and buried, but with news that Clive Owen is negotiating to work opposite Will Smith, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead has just been cast. I t seems this project, which has been knocking around since 1997, is very much alive. We reported on it back in Grunting -230: “a veteran assassin has to battle his 25-years-younger clone.”

There are vague suggestions that principle photography will begin this spring.

It even has a release date: Oct. 4, 2019

More as it develops

 

 

 

Damn.

IO9 has published an article on Australian Science Fiction movies,

https://io9.gizmodo.com/10-australian-scifi-movies-you-need-to-watch-1821881388

 

I took a peek and discovered a few Australian films that have slipped our attention.

The Gateway (aka “Alpha Gateway”) from director John V. Soto: a particle physicist loses her husband in a car crash and travels to a parallel world to bring him back, it does not go well (You know, you’d think they figured it out by now; try to bring back your loved one as a robot zombie or parallel Entity will always cause trouble). Although we are told it will have a US release this spring we have no release date.

Here’s a Trailer

 

 

 

OtherLife from director Ben C. Lucas.

We covered this in Grunting -234.

Ren Amari invents a biological form of virtual reality called OtherLife, it forms artificial she illegally tests it on her brother, who is in a coma.

The government steps in with a proposal to make it a virtual prison.

When the simulation Ren made for her brother kills another researcher, Ren finds herself sentenced to her own Virtual prison.

OtherLife had an Australian release on 16 June 2017

It was also was released on Netflix on 15 October 2017.

It was quite well reviewed.

 

 

 

Amelia 2.0 We missed noticing Adam Orton’s Amelia 2.0, it came and went August last year.

So Amelia is dying, the very last hope is a research team who comes to her husband and says they can save her… by transferring her consciousness… into a robot body. Ohboy.

 

Look, the stages of grief are;

Denial

Anger

Bargaining

Depression

Acceptance

 

There is no last stage that goes; “oh, bring them back from the dead.” This will not give you closure.

Well Orton seems to have got in before Keanu and Replicas this year (which is a very similar plot; let them go Keanu, it will only go badly).

Anyway here’s Amelia 2.0’s trailer

 

 

 

The Black Panther.

With the Black Panther Marvel Studios ventured into their riskiest opening to date.

You know, I have said this before; Guardians of the Galaxy. Ant Man and Dr. Strange. And I’ll say it again, with luck, when Captain Marvel opens.

Just take a look at the massive risk they took:

It is Marvel’s first movie lead by an African-American.

The character was not one of their bestselling comics

And they took risks at every turn; the lead was an unknown, the director an African American who had never made anything of this size, and the rest of the cast was largely African American, they did not even back them up with a single bankable star.

Jesus fuck, Marvel head Kevin Feige has a set of stones.

And all of the risk has been justified. As of writing The Black Panther is the biggest pre-selling Marvel Release yet, and the industry insiders forecast it will do quite respectably at the box office.

Fortune favours the bold, and I wish this film all of the good fortune in the world.

 

 

 

The First trailer for Yeon Sang-ho’s Psychokinesis has turned up. (Grunt -242). This film will debut on Netflix.

I am not sure this is what fans of his last move, Train to Busan, were expecting. So for it looks like it’s has less guts and more belly laughs.

From the look let’s just call it “the Korean Chronicle”)

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Cyberpunk Special

 

Now is the winter of this content. No, really. In the last few months things have come into focus. The seeds that were planted years ago have begun to flower and 2018 will be an even bigger year for Cyberpunk than last year was.

 

So let’s start with this…

Not Cyberpunk!

There are a number of projects in this cyberpunk special that are not cyberpunk. So why are they here?

Ah, the look mostly. Truth is, the cyberpunk look was born way before the sub-genre itself. It was born in the bandes dessinée look of the Metal Hurlant comics, burnt into the animation of the Heavy Metal animated movie. And it stayed in these niches until Blade Runner brought it out into the wider world. Ridley Scott acknowledges the influence of bandes dessinée art and so does William Gibson.

 

Blade Runner went on to influence a ton of Manga and Anime; Akira. Appleseed. Bubblegum Crisis and more than I can list.

 

 

 

Ready Player One is not cyberpunk. We keep saying it. We keep including it in the cyberpunk specials.

Why isn’t it cyberpunk?

It is a matter of attitude. Cyberpunk is street attitude. It is rebellious. Often downright criminal. William Gibson said it in his typically compacted way “Cyberpunk is bohemia with computers”. I’m not thinking he meant the polite bohemia. Not hipsters in hats. More the bad drugs. Dangerous sex. Poverty. And radical politics end of bohemia.

Ready Player One comes out of gamer culture. Which is fine. I like it a lot.

The thing is. The thing is it shares a lot of furniture with cyberpunk; virtual worlds. Evil corporations. A kind of scuzzy background. The elements are there. The attitude is kind of sweet. Kind of candy coloured. And that is good. Not cyberpunk. But good.

Besides, it’s Spielberg, just how edgy is he likely to get?

Here is a thought. Suppose Ready Player One becomes a huge hit. That is not beyond possibility. It has been a while since Spielberg had a big hit. But he still has his chops. Suppose this is his comeback?

Well then suddenly everything changes. Cyberpunk doesn’t sell and yet Ready Player One sells. We could have a cognitive disconnect. Hollywood is nothing if not a bandwagon town. They will want to jump that bandwagon. But you will be sure they will call it something else. And then it will get interesting.

 

We’ve seen the new trailer for Ready Player One.

 

It’s good. Oh. It’s real good. And you know what? I’m a believer. It’s cyberpunk.

 

Right on its heels came word that its original author Ernest Cline is working on a sequel novel. Which is nice.

He said ” there’s no better inspiration for a writer [than] to return to a world they’ve already worked on when they’re watching Steven Spielberg bring that world to life.”

Of course he’s giving no details. But we are cautiously hopeful.

 

 

 

Akira is not cyberpunk. This time not because of attitude. There is more than enough Cyberpunk attitude in it. The demimonde is right there in motorcycle gangs and drug culture. That is not why it gets lumped in with the cyberpunk genre. It is all about those mesmerising city vistas. And the helicopter shots of them. It is about cool motorcycles and precisely created technologies.

But not cyberpunk. Why? Well whatever place computer tech has in this future it is relegated to the background. No this is “psiberpunk”. The driving ideas are about insanely powerful minds. Humans as weapons of mass destruction.

And the difference matters.

I have a lot of time for Akira; manga and anime. But I don’t mistake it for cyberpunk.

And just to make it clear; no, I really don’t think it should be a live action movie.

Remarkably the project is not dead (It will be, but not yet).

Warner Bros. has hired a production designer; Martin Whist (who most recently worked on Shane Black’s The Predator) will be tasked with designing Akira. Interesting, because Taika Waititi is yet to commit to directing the picture (this has not stopped him from making pronouncements on how the film should be cast and what sources should inform the story).

I doubt anyone will be directing this one, so they are all free to say what they “would” do.

 

 

 

 

Altered Carbon is not cyberpunk. Sure it has attitude in droves. And information tech lies at the heart of it (the commodification of the human soul). It has a massive megalithic city as a background and slides around it from the highest to the lowest socio-economic level

But even its author Richard Morgan will readily claim that this is not the sub-genre. It is set six-hundred years in the future. Hardly near-future. And in the middle of an interstellar civilisation.

But many blogs assume it is and say so. But a lot of relevant material has been absorbed here. From Blade Runner to William Gibson. And it is not just attitude. It is feel. It’s a hip novel. With a forward leaning stance. And a pace that will not quit.

I’m very happy it is being made into a TV series. It is full of potential.

After months of silence it looks like some publicity dropped. In November some concept paintings appeared. Because they turned up without attribution. It wasn’t clear they were linked to Altered Carbon. However a few weeks later some video clips turned up on Twitter and then were quickly deleted. Having seen them on a mirror site (which I shall not post because copyright violation is wrong) I’m sure they originate with the Altered Carbon production. The film blogs called it a “viral campaign”. I don’t disagree. One was a faux advert for manufactured bodies or “Sleeves” as they are called in the story. Another a Special FX sequence showing a flying car in a future urban context. The combined effect was very Westworld meets Blade Runner.

And not long after we got the official Netflix trailer and release date: 2 February 2018. Which is nice.

 

and then another

 

and this one

 

They also released a promo

http://exclaim.ca/film/article/get_a_sneak_peek_at_netflix_cyberpunk_series_altered_carbon

 

(I like it because it gives us the first glimpse of show runner Laeta Kalogridis. she is a legend: co-wrote Avatar. wrote the first scripts for Ghost in the Shell Live Action and Alita: Battle Angel.)

 

All that remains is whether it can find an audience. Netflix is a beast that eats content. Its model means users binge-watch its programs. A series that would last a quarter of a year will be done and dusted in days. Hours for the dedicated. So Netflix just needs to feed the beast with more content. Hopefully. Sheer curiosity will help Altered Carbon get an audience.

We’ll see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alita Battle Angel is not cyberpunk. Like Altered Carbon it is far-future.

But. Well it has a cool scuzzy background. A quarter Blade Runner. Three quarters Mad Max. The lead character is a tragic-cool robot girl. The action is all massive mechanised destruction.

There is a kind of cool to the original manga. We are hoping it will translate to the feature film.

Now in the snippets of news leaking out of the production we have learned director Robert Rodriguez is still working from Laeta Kalogridis’ script. And that is good news. Rodriguez is good at providing action and thrills. But he does best when he has a strong story spine to hang his work on.

However. Something interesting is happening. Or rather is not. From time to time I notice things by their absence. I notice the lacunae in the world. And one of them surrounds Alita Battle Angel.

It’s producer James Cameron has been very busy. He is preparing new prints of Terminator 2. And Titanic. He is of course working on the Avatar sequels.

The film blogs have been reporting on all of these when noting how busy he is.

Cameron is also busy producing Alita Battle Angel.

But the Blogs are silent.

Of course there is not any news. Nothing is leaking from the production. But the fact that Alita is disappearing from reports feels ominous; there is a problem with original science fiction feature releases. Everyone knows it. In the past ten years many productions have performed poorly despite having star casts, hitmaking directors and positive reviews. The one thing that Alita Battle Angel had giving it an edge over the many features which have fallen by the wayside is its association with James Cameron who (aside from the Abyss) can do no wrong at the Box Office. If there is any perception that Cameron is weakly associated with the production then its commercial viability is in question.

 

The trailer for Alita Battle Angel arrived in December and it was not what I expected.

 

The setting was both more conventional and more post-holocaust than I expected and Alita.. Well she was CG. Of course I expected a lot of CG. But I expected Alita (especially since she is played by Rosa Salazar ) to be well human with a little CG addition. Instead she was fully CG.

It did not bother me so much, in fact I was impressed, however the blogs are screaming “Uncanny valley”. I’m not sure what the problem is, but my guess is expectation.

Once I realised Alita would be CG Generated I knew, because she is a cyborg (I’ve read the Manga) that she is not totally human, I did not expected her to look human, in fact I expected something more like a doll. And she looked like that to me.

Perhaps the blogosphere is still expecting human, in which case sure, she does not look human. But to be honest she does not look any different from many characters in recent CGI movies, like say Big Hero Six. That’s my take.

 

The soundtrack was ever so gentle. And I hope it belies the extreme mayhem to come.

I’m bemused at the moment. But one thing; it does not look a lot like a Robert Rodriguez movie (or if it does more like Spy Kids than Desperado).

I suspect further trailers will give us an expanded impression.

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk about Neuromancer because it seems to be all up in the air now. It has a major studio. An attached director. But the director will be tied up for the next two years (unless Jim Cameron has a spasm. And decides not to make Terminator 6), and even beyond if reports are true.

Where do we go from here?

I don’t want to wait four years and I don’t think the studio does either (no really. Neuromancer has such a chequered past that that kind of delay will likely kill it)

So. We need to get a director who can commit the job and do it in the near future.

And as for the problem of relevance. The question of whether a mid-eighties Science Fiction novel can be a relevant movie in the late 20-teens.

I think it can; after all we are in the era of Star Wars. Star Trek and Planet of the Apes. Each over thirty years old. All having spawned sequels and spin-offs aplenty. If they are not played out then neither is Neuromancer.

While reading the coverage for Blade Runner 2049. I heard that Denis Villeneuve and delved into and extended the themes of Blade Runner. And this is what is needed for Neuromancer. Not a faithful translation but an understanding of the novel. And then for its themes to be excavated and extended in a cinematic context. Purists will howl. But the audience will come.

More controversially we should look at character. If there was one word that could be applied to both Ghost in the Shell and Blade Runner: 2049 it would be “cold”. The characters were unemotional beings in a mechanical future. I think they suffered at the box office because of this. And I think this is not true in general about the Cyberpunk genre. Neuromancer should consider bringing warmth and humour to the characters. The humour in William Gibson’s original is subtle. It can brought to the surface. And the inherent humanity of the characters can be emphasised. I think it is all there either in the original novel or the subsequent sequels. It just has to be found and put up front. Film is a different medium than literature and the story has to be framed to take advantage of that.

Neuromancer was not just about technology. And not just about the dawn of an age.

Neuromancer has a prose style that. If translated into visuals could be the most visually exciting thing we have seen in twenty years. It just needs the right talent.

What is more there is world building and detail in the novel that can take away the breath of an audience.

All it needs is belief. And audacity.

 

 

 

This is mad. They are talking about making a bunch more Matrix movies.

Because obviously they have not made enough billions off the old ones.

Thankfully the Wachowskis have washed their hands of this extension of the saga.

Strangely. I think it is possible to do more stories in that universe (largely because of a glaring plot hole in the original which further instalments can close.

However and it is a big however. I do not believe there is anyone in the film industry qualified to take it on.

Actually no there is one person. But he is too smart. Too successful and too individual to do it.

It is Christopher Nolan. I think he has the intelligence and skill to wrap up the Matrix saga. He never will.

 

 

 

Now here is something interesting; following the release of Blade Runner: 2049 I looked at a lot of background material for its making. One thing I saw was the company, Territory Studio, contracted to create the video displays, was also hired to do the same for Ghost in the Shell.

Interesting.

Earlier I noted that Clint Mansell was writing the soundtrack for both Ghost in the Shell and Mute.

Now this.

The question is: has cyberpunk become generic?

 

 

Neither Blade Runner nor Ghost in the Shell made a profit at the box office. This would seem to seriously wound the sub-genre of cyberpunk at the box office. But this is not necessarily so.

First of all. There are a number of releases due this year which will happen. Nothing will stop them: Mute. Alita: Battle Angel and Ready Player One will be released. And Altered Carbon will air as well.

Momentum alone may turn around the fortune of visual cyberpunk.

 

Secondly, box office failure might not reverse plans. After all in the face strong opposition to Anime adaptations against Ghost in the Shell and Death Note. Hollywood just doubled down and planned even more adaptations than ever.

Paramount’s acquisition of Neuromancer came after the lure of Ghost in the Shell.

 

What may happen however could be a cannier use of resources. The studios now know what a cyberpunk movie can expect to open at. This may influence them to more tightly control budgets to finally make the films cost effective.

 

It has only just started.

 

 

 

 

What’s eating Joseph Khan?

If it was just Taylor Swift. I wouldn’t be bothering. Er what am I talking about? Well this piece came up. Taylor Swift is a Cyberpunk now.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/ywbpy5/taylor-swift-is-cyberpunk-now-ready-for-it-music-video

Her Video for Ready for It displays a lot of familiar imagery.

 

Then I learned it had been directed by Joseph Khan. In feature films he is known for films like Torque and Stealth. In music videos and TV ads he’s known for his heavy use of FX. We posted a music video he’d done for George Michael the other day for a Blade Runner Special. And apparently Khan is still at it.

Ready for It is reminiscent of a bunch of things. The backgrounds are very Blade Runner. The costumes Ghost in the shell. And one FX scene is leaning on Wanted (I don’t know what that is about).

It seems Khan is back on an old hobby horse. Because to the rest of us. He is known as the man who almost directed Neuromancer.

It was kind of controversial. A lot of fans didn’t figure he had the chops to make such a major movie.

Now I don’t know why this version of the never-ending saga to adapt Neuromancer fell apart; maybe the budget. Creative differences. Who the hell knows? But it did.

But I am thinking Khan won’t it go. In his head he is still directing it. Either that or some other idea cyberpunk epic. It is not as If cyberpunk is commercial right now.

 

I dug up an old interview with him and this is what he said about Neuromancer: “In a nutshell. I wanted to make Trainspotting in the Sprawl. I don’t want to go

into too many details because I may transfer stylistic choices to another

Science Fiction project. It’s not what anyone was thinking. But I’m off it now.

You may all breathe a sigh of relief.”

Well it’s neither here nor there. The question is not whether Joseph Khan wants to make a cyberpunk movie. It’s whether someone will pay for him to do it.

 

 

 

 

Blade Runner: 2049 did not open strongly. This is not necessarily a roadblock in the revival of cyberpunk: Ghost in the Shell opened weakly and the result was that Neuromancer got picked up by a major studio. What’s more, despite the controversy over casting Hollywood doubled-down and there are now more anime-to-live-action projects than ever before.

It is counter intuitive. So what is going on?

I call it “the paradoxical effect.”

Before Ghost in the Shell Cyberpunk was below the radar. A cult sub-genre. Ghost put it on everyone’s lips. Blade Runner: 2049 still more-so.

If we had gone from 100MPH to zero it would have been a crash, but what has just happened is that a “cyberpunk” movie made 31.5m. Which means there is an audience.

It does not have to be the largest audience. But it is an audience.

And where there is an audience the films will follow.

 

The question is; at what level?

 

As I already said. There is no “director’s cut” of Blade Runner 2049. OK? That said the first rough cut was four hours long.

No. That does not excite me. I have seen rough cuts. And they are not movies. They are works in progress. I am not looking forward to any released version of the rough-cut. That would be ridiculous. Denis Villeneuve said that the released cut was his preferred cut. I believe that.

What is more he says he says he removed everything he didn’t want in the film and there is nothing he would put back.

Of course there may be nice off-cuts they could out on the DVD….

That said…Producer Ridley Scott has been kvetching that 2049 was too long. Now I have called Scott a “double dipping son of-” more times than I can count. We know he likes to put out multiple versions of his films. My DVD collection is testament to this. 2049 was not directed by Scott. However he is the producer. He has admitted writing most of it; work with me on this unprecedented scenario. Suppose he decides to make a “producer’s cut”? Not beyond imagination.

The Blade Runner 2049 DVD comes out 5th February 2018 in the UK.

 

Then in January came the news that Ridley Scott had an idea for Blade Runner 3. Actually it was not so much news, before release of 2049 he was hinting that a series was possible.

And the way 2049 ended was sequel friendly.

Anyway, he’s not being very specific, he just says he has another story ready to be developed.

Here in the real world there is the problem that 2049 had a decidedly soft box office; by no means a huge flop, but not the runaway success that the critical reception foreshadowed. So, why is Scott so bullish? Well, he’s equally enthusiastic about further instalments of Alien (and that also is in question).

2049 had a weak run in China so there are limited remaining avenues for success; a huge surge in interest upon release to disk might help, and also a big surge when it hits streaming media. But I would not count on that.

And if we don’t get that interest, then how will a sequel ever be greenlit?

 

 

 

Getting back to my comments on Neuromancer. I do think this is the way: the human factor in the story.

The next wave of cyberpunk movies have to emphasise character and humanness in the age of information. I would say it would be a task but they have an inroad. Pat Cadigan’s Synners perfectly balances futurity technology and humanness. I see it as 12 part Netflix series. Someone make it happen.

 

 

 

Mute still has no release date….

Wait a minute! We do have some movement on this. Duncan Jones indicated on his Twitter account that we will see a release in February.

It was supposed to be a secret but he leaked.

But a little later Netflix confirmed that it would debut the feature on February 23.

Now this is interesting because there has been no marketing at all. Some pre-FX photos in Empire magazine and that is it.

There have been no posters, no trailers. No behind the scenes featurettes.

Hopefully they can get it all together in the next month.

 

This suggests a dark scenario; Netflix are about to release it straight to streaming media with as little back-up as possible.

 

I’d hoped for a cinematic release but that sounds witheringly unlikely. Now it seems like it will slip out shamefully like a Jersey girl sneaking across the bridge Sunday morning with her thong stuffed in her clutch bag.

 

 

 

David Wong’s novel Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits is becoming a TV series (apparently I’m the last one to find out) Now this is definitely not cyberpunk:

it takes place in the near future. Check.

In a megalithic city. Check.

Where holograms writhe among the skyscrapers. Check.

Computers and networks are a big part of the plot. Check

No. seriously. There is this kind of crowdsourced. social-media powered assassination system. Check.

And there are superpowers. Whoa?

Well I told you it isn’t cyberpunk.

FV&FS is the story of an ordinary girl. whose fabulously rich and estranged father has left her a toxic inheritance. Can she live long enough to claim it? It is a screaming gas to read and should make a decent TV series.

Actually the announcement was back in 2016. Since then there has been very little movement. But that could mean nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

Back in December we blogged the Hollywood Reporter’s Chinese Science Fiction piece.

What we didn’t say is that Chinese Cyberpunk is also coming.

Oh yeah.

Although we’ve been hoping that Netflix will drag visual Cyberpunk’s fat out of the fire with Altered Carbon and Mute, the Chinese may well lead the charge in the spring with the release of Dream Breaker: a young woman must fight her way out of a holographic game world to avenge her father’s death.

Director is Han Yan, it had its Chinese release last year.

We hunted down a trailer and found one under the name: Po Meng You Xi, (according to Google Translate this means “Breaking Dream Game”)

 

Looks nice, doesn’t it; cyberpunk with a virtual reality component, lots of martial arts.

 

Sisi Wu from Jetavana Entertainment says. “Many young Chinese millennials are familiar with the cyberpunk sensibility from gaming and Japanese manga. but they’ve never seen a cool Chinese version in cinemas. ”

Oh really? I hope they got what they are looking for and ask for much more.

 

 

 

 

You may be aware that director Rian Johnson is about to make a huge trilogy for one of those big franchises. if forget which one* Well he’s just said he has a few projects of his own. independent films that he indents to make. And he may well make one before he embarks on the next cash-cow series.

Hme. Well I seem to remember. Back in 2013. just after Johnson made Looper he said he was embarking on something very different from Looper “Still Sci Fi but cyberpunk”. He did not go into detail. Now who is to say this is not on the horizon?

 

 

 

 

I keep joking about properties that are not cyberpunk. But seriously some of them really are not.

Over the years Cyberpunk has been reduced to a set of moves. A checklist of visuals that define a defunct subgenre. But the information age is not finished with us. And cyberpunk was never about tropes. only ever about stance. Some stories have that stance; you’ve heard of “outsider art” well cyberpunk is “outsider tech”. it is about taking counter-culture ideas and executing them with tech-culture smarts. A few of the upcoming films and TV series have this. Most just don’t.

I’m just saying.

 

 

 

Things look good, but they could be better so here is the return of the cyberclock; how many years have the projects lingered in limbo?

When Gravity Falls 5 years

Deus Ex 6 years

True Skin 2012; 6 years

Technotise 2010; 8 years

Hard Boiled 2001; 16 years

and the Methuselah of the all cybermovies; Neuromancer 1986; 31 years

(and rising)

These numbers are only measured from the year the product was first optioned for the screen.

 

 

Release Dates

Mute February 2018?

Altered Carbon. 2 February 2018

Ready Player One March 30th 2018

Alita: Battle Angel 20 July. 2018

 

 

*just kidding I know exactly which one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Jack Eris and if you know me, you know Jack.

 

 

And if you want some movie news about other than sequels and reboots try

http://screenanarchy.com/

 

And if you want to check out Science Fiction releases beyond the usual try First Showing.

http://www.firstshowing.net/category/sci-fi/

 

Most Indie Film blogs are pretty boring but Indie Activity reports on Science Fiction as well.

https://indieactivity.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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