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Joe Cornish to Follow ‘Attack the Block’ With Neal Stephenson’s ‘Snow Crash’

Posted by , on June 14, 2012 at 11:40 pm 

It’s no surprise that Joe Cornish would get flooded with offers after Attack the Block knocked a couple of socks off — unless, you know, he completely defied the norm — so, rather, I’m surprised at what he’ll be doing next. According to Deadline, Paramount and Kennedy/Marshall have snagged the British writer-director to helm Snow Crash, a high-concept cyberpunk actioner (not that those things are normally low-concept) based on Neal Stephenson‘s seminal novel of the same title.

Now, you might be concerned that Cornish will “go Hollywood” on his sophomore outing, do a project just because it hands him a big check, and take the promise of better things at their word. Reading about Snow Crash, though? I’m pretty sure this is perfect for his sensibilities, both as a storyteller and technical craftsman — and it sounds like, given the right resources, he could make something really, truly special here.

Snow Crash takes place in a near-future United States that’s “a patchwork of corporate-franchise city-states,” all of which are either run by corporations and the mafia; the actual story revolves around Hiro Protagonist, an everyday pizza delivery man whose life in the virtual “Metaverse” sees him play as a samurai warrior. When a new computer virus called Snow Crash starts killing hackers by “transmitt[ing] visually from computer screens to unsuspecting users, frying their brains,” it is, natrually, Protagonist’s duty to find and destroy the source of a disease capable of massive, irreversible damage.

Right off the bat, we know Snow Crash could have the energetic, street-level action Cornish handled with utter confidence in Block; then there’s a lead living on the outside, much like his Moses; and he then has an opportunity to combine these two with the kind of big-budget spectacle that, with any luck, could make the film a big hit. Even if I didn’t like Attack the Block all that much — but, for the record: I’m very much in its favor — I’d love to see what might come of Snow Crash. Now it’s one of the most promising films set up at a major studio.

Is Cornish is a good fit for Snow Crash? Is Snow Crash a good fit for Cornish?

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