We’ve been following the slow, unlikely development of Vincenzo Natali’s adaptation of William Gibson’s Neuromancer for a couple of years now. At one point, Natali may have been trying to get Bruce Willis to sign on (presumably playing Armitage). Now Moviehole reports “offers are on the table” for Mark Wahlberg and Liam Neeson to star in the film, although nothing’s official yet.
Wahlberg was offered the hacker anti-hero, Henry Case, while Neeson was offered the role of Armitage, who offers to restore Case’s ability to connect to the “Matrix” in exchange for some assistance with certain tasks. You see, Armitage has a very particular set of skills, skills he has acquired over a very long career, but they don’t include hacking, which is why he needs Case. (Full Neuromancer plot synopsis here.)
Liam Neeson as Armitage would be a welcome Ra’s al Ghul style villain’s homecoming, but Wahlberg makes less sense. We probably shouldn’t be surprised Wahlberg was offered the lead, considering producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura also cast him in Four Brothers and Shooter, but I still just can’t see it. Are they seriously hiring Wahlberg to play a cocaine and amphetamine addicted computer hacker many years his junior? Henry Case is 24 and scrawny, not a buff 41-year-old. I might just have to put this whole film in my rear view. If I don’t make it to the theater, say hi to your mentor’s ROM for me.