Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, a seminal work of the cyberpunk genre, is coming to the HBO Max streaming service as a new television series. Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel will be adapted for television by writer Michael Bacall (21 Jump Street) and director Joe Cornish (The Kid Who Would Be King) from Paramount TV. Bacall will also serve as co-showrunner alongside Angela Robinson (The L World). Frank Marshall is producing the series. Snow Crash follows Hiro Protagonist. In real life, he delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo's CosaNostra Pizza Inc. But in the Metaverse, he's a warrior prince and he’s investigating a new computer virus that's taking down hackers all over the globe, running up against villains hiding in the shadows of cyberspace.
Bacall, Cornish, Robinson, Marshall, Robert Zotnowski, and Stephenson are all aboard as executive producers. Along with William Gibson’s Neuromancer, Snow Crash is credited with establishing the cyberpunk subgenre of sci-fi. It was nominated for the British Science Fiction Award in 1993 and the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1994. It’s the novel that inspired sci-fi films from The Matrix to Ready Player One.
Bacall’s credits include the scripts for 21 Jump Street and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. He’s also working on adapting Sharkey the Bounty Hunter, the Image Comics series from Mark Millar and Simone Bianchi.
Cornish made his directorial debut with the sci-fi feature Attack the Block, starring John Boyega and Jodie Whittaker. He went on to write and direct The Kid Who Would Be King, a kids' adaptation of Arthurian fantasy, for 20th Century Fox and Working Title.
Cornish has been attached to the Snow Crash adaptation since 2012 when it was intended as his big-screen follow-up to Attack the Block at Paramount Pictures. In 2016, Marshall said production would begin in 2017, but in 2017 Amazon announced that it had picked up the project as a streaming series. The news that the project has jumped to HBO Max is the first update since then.
Time Magazine named Snow Crash as one of the best English-language novels written since 1923. The novel made Stephenson one of the preeminent voices in science fiction. It also established his fascination with language. He would later go on to establish the postcyberpunk genre, and work in the baroque fiction and historical fiction genres. His other prominent works include Cryptonomicon, Anathem, and Reamde. His latest novel is Fall; or, Didge in Hell.
HBO Max will launch in May 2020. No word on when Snow Crash is expected to debut.