Could Hollywood do justice to Richard K. Morgan's scary, intense Altered Carbon?S

Hollywood has a mixed history with cyberpunk, to say the least — so the news of a movie version of Richard K. Morgan's ultra-noir Altered Carbon getting fast-tracked makes us a bit nervous. So much of what's great about that book is the intense violence and weird sex work... and then there's the long torture sequence, which would be hard to get right without looking like torture porn. We love this book about a world where people can download their personalities and memories into newly cloned (or rented) bodies, but could it work as a movie?

Top image: Cover by John Harper.

The movie version is being spearheaded by a new production company led by writers James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, The Amazing Spider-Man, Total Recall) and Laeta Kalogridis (Alexander, Shutter Island, the Bionic Woman reboot), plus Black Swan producer Brad Fischer. Kalogridis is going to co-write the screenplay with David Goodman.

Kalogridis is a longtime collaborator with James Cameron, having worked on Avatar as well as the in-development Battle Angel Alita movie, so maybe she can bring some Cameron-style grit to this picture? Kalogridis tells Variety:

Altered Carbon is one of the most seminal pieces of post-cyberpunk hard science fiction out there — a dark, complex noir story that challenges our ideas of what it means to be human when all information becomes encodable, including the human mind.

Meanwhile, the new production company, Mythology, is also launching movie versions of John Bellairs' series of supernatural adventure novels, beginning with The House With a Clock in Its Walls — and they've got Supernatural creator Eric Kripke writing the screenplay, which seems promising. Also, they're collaborating on The Lobotomist, an HBO miniseries about the most prolific lobotomy doctor in history, written by Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles writer Dan Thomsen. [Variety]