There had been a little bit of talk for a while about a movie based on Neal Stephenson’s sci-fi novel ‘Snow Crash’, but I had all but given up on it until today, when Paramount announced they had hired director Joe Cornish to head the project. Recently, Cornish had been praised for his direction of Attack the Block. If you haven’t seen Attack the Block, or read Snow Crash, I highly recommend you go do both of those things as soon as humanly possible.
It’s the second go around on the project for Paramount, which first developed the book back when it was published in 1992. It is a big bestseller and a seminal cyber-punk book that probably was ahead of its time. The book is set in the near future, when the U.S. exists as a patchwork of corporate-franchise city-states, and private enterprise and the mafia control everything. The plot involves a computer virus that is manifested as a drug called Snow Crash that is transmitted visually from computer screens to unsuspecting users, frying their brains. Hiro Protagonist – that’s the character’s name – a computer hacker/samurai swordsman/pizza delivery driver who investigates and tries to stop the takeover of postmodern civilization. It sounds wild, but it is steeped in its own mythology and has become a cult favorite among the cyberpunk set. Paramount dropped the project years ago and it went to Disney with Kennedy/Marshall and languished. Kennedy introduced Cornish to the book, he committed and it is now back at Paramount and is a priority. Cornish is repped by CAA and Independent Talent and the book was repped by CAA for the lit agency Darhansoff & Verrill.