An Excerpt from the book-
CANNES. William Gibson was in Cannes in May 1994 to promote
the filming of "Johnny Mnemonic", a $26 million science fiction
movie based on his short story, and starring megastar Keanu
Reeves as the main character. Directed by the concept artist (and
Gibson's pal) Robert Longo - with a few music video and TV credits,
but for the first time in charge of a feature, the film also stars Ice-T,
Dolph Lundgren, Takeshi Kitano (of the cult "Sonatine"), Udo Kier,
Henry Rollins and Dina Meyer. William Gibson also wrote the
screenplay of his original story, which was published in the anthology
"Burning Chrome". "Johnny Mnemonic" goes into wide release
in current 1995.
In this interview, William Gibson talks at length about "Johnny
Mnemonic", movies, SF, net culture and issues.
What are your initial impressions on how "Johnny Mnemonic" is
turning out ?
I have just seen the pre-assembled 10-minute show reel. I think it is
fantastic! It felt very good seeing the universe of "Johnny Mnemonic"
taking a life on its own. If it had been different, I wouldn't probably
be here. But it can be safe to say that "Johnny Mnemonic" has been
the optimal screen experience so far.
Robert (Longo, the film director) and I kind of had a mutual
experience with it. We first tried to make a screen adaptation of
"Johnny Mnemonic" back in 1989, so we started pitching it around
film companies, asking for money. Didn't work out. We realized
afterwards that our major mistake was asking too little money.
Our aim back then was to make a little art movie, we figured that
we would need less than 2 million dollars. Jean-Luc Godard's
"Alphaville" was our main inspiration back then. We should have
asked more money.
We went through several script drafts and stages. It became very
painful pursuing the project. If it were just for me, I would have
given up long ago. It was really Robert's faith and persistence
in getting this film done that made it possible.
Have you written any film scripts before, besides this and the ill-
fated drafts for "Alien3"?
Yeah, I have done a couple of screen adaptations that never got
made. One was "Burning Chrome" (ED.Kathryn Bigelow was
involved in it for a while) and the other was "Neuro-Hotel".
What happened ?
I don't really feel like talking about them. Let's just say that
these projects have been... developed to death. It was getting
more and more frustrating, and I didn't like that. ... Read more