Cube director Vincenzo Natali has been plugging away on an adaptation of Neuromancer for several years now and it finally looks like his work is close to paying off. A few weeks ago rumors began swirling that Mark Wahlberg and Liam Neeson were being considered for unidentified roles in the sci-fi film about espionage and hacking in the underworld of a very futuristic Japan. Today the film has confirmed those rumors, stating simply "Pay or Play offers have been made to Liam Neeson for Armitage and Mark Wahlberg for Case."
What's important to note there is the phrase "Pay or Play." That means GFM Films isn't just writing letters to Neeson and Wahlberg hoping they'll attach their names to the movie. A Pay or Play deal means that the two actors will get paid whether the movie gets made or not. It's hardly an uncommon practice in the film industry, but it does reflect the film's commitment to getting made.
The website Bleeding Cool has also dug up two pieces of concept art for the film, one from the studio's website, the other from artist Amro Attia (who last worked with Natali on Splice). Neither image is officially labeled, but it's not hard to guess who they are. The hooded figure is most likely Case (Wahlberg), the hacker at the antihero hacker at the heart of it all. The muscular, bald man would then be Armitage (Neeson), the shady ex-Green Beret that recruits Case for an impossible, around-the-world hacking job.
So what do you think? Are Wahlberg and Neeson who you'd cast for Case and Armitage? I think Neeson is a fantastic, dead-on choice for the former Operation Screaming Fist (hence the tattoo in the concept art) member turned mercenary. I'm less enthusiastic about Wahlberg for Case, but I trust Natali enough to be onboard for it.