V for Vendetta Director Sets His Sights on Cyberpunk Noir

Illustration for article titled V for Vendetta Director Sets His Sights on Cyberpunk Noir

V for Vendetta director, and frequent Wachowski Brothers collaborator, James McTeigue is taking a break from science fiction, filming vengeful ninjas and Edgar Allan Poe. But he's still got his sights on an adaptation of Richard K. Morgan's Altered Carbon.


In Morgan's novel, set in the 25th Century, human memories are backed up and stored in cortical stacks, data storage systems implanted in the human body. If the body dies, the stack can be "resleeved" in another body, enabling human beings to become essentially immortal. But only the very rich can afford to be resleeved frequently, and when one such very wealthy, very long-lived individual, Laurens Bancroft, dies, his stack is shockingly destroyed as well. Thanks to a remote backup, Bancroft is able to be resleeved again, but finds he's missing the memories from the 48 hours prior to his death. While the police rule Bancroft's death a suicide, Bancroft himself believes he was murdered. To solve the mystery of his death, Bancroft has soldier Takeshi Kovacs resleeved into a cop's body. Kovacs is thrust into a world of violence and intrigue, dealing with the dark realm of world politics, enemies from his past, and the fact that the body he now inhabits belongs to someone else.

McTeigue was working on a big-screen adaptation Altered Carbon when he was approached to direct his upcoming action film Ninja Assassin. He is currently at work on The Raven, a film that speculates on the final days of Edgar Allan Poe, but in an interview with /Film, McTeigue said Altered Carbon is still very much on the table:

I still hope to make [Altered Carbon] with Joel [Silver]. There is a really good script that I've developed for a while, and I'd love to do that when the time is right, and hopefully that time will be shortly. We've started actively talking about that again.

Hopefully this is more than just idle talk. Altered Carbon made our list earlier this year of books that deserve to be made into movies, and it would be great to see McTeigue bring the same cyberpunk sensibilities that he helped the Wachowskis bring to the Matrix trilogy, as well as see a futuristic mystery story on the big screen.




I was okay with Altered Carbon, but in the end didn't like it for a weird reason that was no fault of the book's. It's a mystery novel, and while I was reading it I was coming up with my own idea of what the solution to the mystery was. Unfortunately, I took about a week long break mid-way through, and kind of fell in love with the solution to the mystery I'd come up with. So when I finished the book, I felt like the actual mystery wasn't as good. Like I said, kind of a weird reason not to like a book.

Oh, and I did find the virtual torture sequence kinda tiresome. Doesn't help that it was like the third book I'd read that year that felt a need to do a prolonged sequence where our hero gets tortured by the bad guys. I'd ask "What is it with extended torture sequences in books these days?", but sadly, I think I already know the answer.