William Gibson's 'Neuromancer' is being made into a movie: Why you should care

A look at William Gibson's 'Neuromancer' and the works that it inspired. 'Deadpool' director Tim Miller is adapting the

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Recent reports revealed that Tim Miller, director of the wildly successful "Deadpool" movie, plans to adapt sci-fi author William Gibson's seminal 1984 novel "Neuromancer" into a movie.

While that title may not be a household name, the subsequent movies, TV shows, comic books and pop-culture references that it inspired are virtually endless. The book's dystopian vision helped change the way science fiction authors look at the future, and it introduced concepts like computer hacking into popular fiction.

The story follows a team of hackers and street warriors hired to unite two halves of an artificial consciousness to create a superintelligence. While stories like those seem commonplace and even cliche in 2017, "Neuromancer" was considered revolutionary in the mid-80s.

Even if you're unfamiliar with Gibson's work, there's good reason for you to care about it.

Here's why:

Those of you who haven't read "Neuromancer," are almost certainly familiar with something the book inspired.

For example: The novel heavily influenced the Wachowski siblings' smash-hit 1999 movie "The Matrix," right down to the film's title. In both the movie and the book, hackers enter a virtual reality world they call "the matrix" and use virtual facsimiles of themselves to battle their enemies.

The similarities don't end there. Artificial intelligence plays a vital role in both stories, though the A.I. in "Neuromancer" isn't nearly as devious as the nefarious machines from "The Matrix."

Both the book and the novel begin when a criminal hacker meets a powerful woman who recruits him on behalf of her mysterious employer.

"The Matrix" is often placed in the cyberpunk genre of fiction. While "Neuromancer" didn't start cyberpunk - that brand of speculative fiction dates back to the 1960s - the book is credited with both popularizing and revolutionizing the genre.

Molly - the character who recruits the main protagonist in "Neuromancer" - is highly intelligent and a skilled martial artist, traits often duplicated in heroes from anime movies.

The recent remake of "Ghost in the Shell," for example, features a skilled female fighter who strongly resembles Molly, and lives in an overpopulated dystopian world that bears a striking resemblance to future world Gibson created.

Popular movies like "Robocop" also feature futuristic dystopias said to have been inspired by cyberpunk fiction. Those films would likely be very different if Gibson hadn't thrust the genre into the spotlight with his 1984 novel.

Nearly every movie, TV show, comic book or novel that revolves around hackers owes its existence to Gibson, who popularized the concept with mainstream audiences.

Gibson's influence also extends into the real world. Every time you hear the word "cyberspace," you hear an unintended reference to the author's work, as he's credited with coining the term in an earlier work of fiction. The word fell into common usage after it was featured prominently in "Neuromancer."

Gibson didn't predict the internet - the Web's beginnings can be traced back to the 1970s - but his story is the earliest description of the cyber realm now used by billions.

Some have gone as far as saying that Gibson's novel influenced the way people use the internet. While that's a bit of a stretch, there can be no question that he accurately forecast the shape it would eventually take.

His fictional matrix connects people living across the globe and is used to conduct business. The author even envisions cyber criminals cracking computer programs to steal money and personal information, a concept eerily familiar to victims of modern cyber-crimes.

And the virtual reality that Gibson describes in "Neuromancer" is slowly moving from the realm of speculative fiction into the real world, as musicians, filmmakers, even news outlets like the New York Times start to offer limited versions of the burgeoning technology.

The novel contains a few dated references to the now-defunct Soviet Union. But if those were removed, readers could be forgiven for thinking the book was set in the modern era.

Filmmakers have proposed movies based on Gibson's novel before with limited success. But the special effects technology now exists to recreate the author's vision, and the concept no longer seems as far-fetched as it once did.

Miller's film adaption is still in its earliest phases and doesn't yet have a writer, according to reports. But Simon Kinberg, who produced the three most recent "X-Men" movies, is attached to the project.

The movie doesn't yet have a release date.

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