SPLICE Director Vincenzo Natali Talks HIGH RISE and NEUROMANCER

     May 10, 2010

Last week, we excitedly reported that director Vincenzo Natali (Splice) would be taking over the adaptation of William Gibson’s Neuromancer from Joseph Kahn (Torque).  Speaking with io9, Natali clarified that he hasn’t signed the contracts yet, but he does have Gibson’s blessing.  Natali then went on at length about what he finds fascinating about Neuromancer and how he plans to adapt it.  He also spoke about his “social disaster” film High Rise, which he mentioned to Steve this year at WonderCon.

Hit the jump to read what he had to say about Neuromancer and High RiseSplice hits theaters on June 4th.

Speaking about High Rise, Natali explained that he didn’t want to do a direct adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s novel of the same name.  For those who don’t know (like myself until five minutes) ago, High Rise is about class warfare within the confines of a city-sized tower that offers all the commodities and convinces of modern life.  Here’s what Natali had to say about his spin on the novel:

So I kind of made that story the background story to our film. [The novel is] almost like a backstory [to the movie]. And we’ll learn a lot more about Royal, the architect. And we’re going to learn a little bit about past failed experiments of his. It all ties into this High Rise, which is very isolated. It’s on an island somewhere in the Pacific.

Moving on to Neuromancer, Natali says he sees the world of the book as rich and ambiguous.  It’s somewhat dystopian and also surprisingly prescient, and “maybe more relevant now than it was before.”  Describing how his take on Neuromancer will differ from The Matrix (which was heavily influenced by Gibson’s book), here’s Natali’s take:

Splice is about evolving our bodies. Neuromancer is about evolving our minds, and how we’re going to merge and interact with machine consciousnesses in the future. Which I also think is inevitable, and I don’t think The Matrix begins or even attempts to go into that territory. In fact The Matrix, in some respects is like a Philip K. Dick book, it’s really about what is real. And Neuromancer flirts with that, but I think it’s more about our evolution. It’s also tonally much more realistic. The Matrix which I really liked, is a movie that’s very much based in comic-book reality, and kind of relishes in it. Whereas my approach to Neuromancer would be to treat it quite realistically.

As for which film goes in front of cameras first, he believes that Splice will help get High Rise made, but he doesn’t think that High Rise and Neuromancer are competing projects, but will help get each other made.  Natali is also on board to adapt the best-selling book series, Tunnels.  But ultimately, Natali doesn’t know which will come first:

They are all amazing projects, it’s just not up to me. I wish it was. I wish I could tell you. It’s up to whoever writes the check.

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