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

Written by on June 14, 2012 

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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