Cyberpunk 2077 Delayed…Again

CP2077 delayed Nov 19

Why the delay of cyberpunk 2077 is not surprising

Being in the Cyberpunk community, it was a big deal when I found out three days ago that Cyberpunk 2077 was being delayed yet again to November 19th.

I think my initial reaction was something like this:

Darth Vader Noooo GIF | Gfycat

For more on my reaction to the news, you can check out my YouTube video here.

Remember Keanu announcing the release date?

I remember the excitement I felt after seeing the new Cyberpunk 2077 video game trailer and then watch Keanu Reeves step on that stage on June 9th last year and announce the release date at Microsoft’s E3 Video game conference event for April 16th, 2020.

Wake up Samurai! CP 2077 Keanu Johnny Silverhand

It was on that stage that a fan said what everyone was thinking, “you’re breathtaking”, and his instantly famous reply “no, you’re breathtaking! You’re all breathtaking!” Needless to say, it was a breathtaking moment.

you're breathtaking

Remember when they announced on Jan 16th that it was delayed the first time?

I also remember the disappointment I felt when it was delayed the first time to September 17th. During the pandemic it would have been nice to have a game like Cyberpunk 2077 to play during the long hours of confinement, but it wasn’t meant to be. I reasoned, along with many others in the community, that the extra wait time was worth it if it meant a better game as the final product.

Bottom line: make a good game

The most important thing is that the game is good. Think about all the bugs that can detract from a massive immersive video game, like Skyrim where you get stuck everywhere or quests don’t spawn the way they are supposed to, or The Witcher where things appear where they’re not supposed to (like your horse roach).

Glitchy Roach Card Is Too Good Not To Leave In The Witcher 3's ...

It’s inevitable that bugs will happen in a game this big, but I think it’s important that if they’re finding those kinds of bugs already, that they’re dealt with as much as possible before the game is released. And this actually isn’t that uncommon. Turns out games get delayed all the time.

This happened with the Witcher 3 as well, actually

The Witcher 3 was supposed to come out fall 2014, but in March 2014 (6-7 months before anticipated release) they pushed it back 4-5 months to February 2015. Then, in December 2014 (2 months before), they pushed it back yet again to May  2015 (3 months back). In comparison, CDPR announced in June 2019 that the release date would be april 2020. Then in January 2020 (4 months before anticipated release) they pushed it back 5 months to september. Then, in June (3 months before anticipated release) they pushed it back 2 more months to November. The result? The Witcher 3 was a smash hit, won a bunch of awards, got countless accolades and a huge fan base, and then on top of all that they adapted it into an amazing Netflix live action series.

the witcher wallpaper

“Hmm.”–Geralt

A blessing in disguise?

And in the meanwhile, perhaps in a weird sense this is a gift to keep the hype going, the wonder, the curiosity. Imagine 3 months after the game is released, when all that mystery and wonder will be gone. There are communities of fans speculating every day, dissecting every new news piece, waiting eagerly for the day they’ll be able to get their hands on the video game.

night city wire

We’re going to have new information in 4 days time on Thursday during the Night City Wire event. So let’s treasure and get excited about not knowing, about wondering about it. And let’s see what new exciting information we can learn on Thursday, because it will have to tide us over for the next 5 months. At least.

Your Thoughts

So what do you think? Are you disappointed as well about the game being delayed? Do you think it’s justified? And are you excited about Night City Wire? let me know in the comments below.

Interview With Cyberpunk Creator MadQueen

Madqueen

Getting to know Cyberpunk Creator The Mad Queen

According to her Twitter and Instagram bio, Mad Queen is a gifted napper, speculative fiction lover, professional hype builder, and an expert in Cyberpunk 2077 lore. She also creates some incredible content about the Cyberpunk genre, specifically the upcoming CD Projekt Red video game Cyberpunk 2077, on her YouTube channel where she has over 24k subscribers. She also has a Patreon page where fans can help support her work. But who exactly is this Mad Queen, and what can she share about the Cyberpunk genre? Read on, console cowboy.

1. How did you get introduced to Cyberpunk?

Science Fiction has always been very present in my family, my mother loved science fiction so I had lots of Arthur C. Clark and Asimov books at home to read when I was a kid, even though I was too young to understand what science fiction is really about. My father, on the other hand, had a huge collection of books called “Great Mysteries of Humanity” or something like that, they were the style of the History channel, authors like JJ Benitez and the likes, it’s funny because when I was a kid I thought mixing science fiction with real life was an artistic style, like some sort of mockumentary, it took me a lot of years to discover there were people that actually believed this may be possible: Aztec temples, pyramids, the Moáis… You know, if white people couldn’t build structures like this back then, probably it was aliens and not Aztecs or Egyptians.

In the specifics of cyberpunk I discovered one day when I was a kid my father’s collection of a magazine called 1984, that later was renamed to Zone 84. This magazine released each months episodes of comic books mostly based in Science Fiction and Cyberpunk, and my favorite was Judge Dredd. I obviously had to read it in secret since my parents wouldn’t allow me to read comics with so much sex and violence on them. A little later, the local TV of where I grew up reached an agreement with a Japanese anime distributor, and they started to fill their air time with lots of Anime. Differently to almost anywhere else in the West, were television focused on anime for kids, our TV was filled with great adult anime classics, so I got to discover the great Cyberpunk classics Ghost in the Shell and Akira. I soon started to like Cyberpunk way more than any other branch of science fiction because in the Golden Age and New Wave (not counting Ursula K. Le Guin, who had a strong anthropological background) the future societies described weren’t in general much different to the one we live in, and no other branch was as impactful as Cyberpunk for me.

Basically my whole childhood prepared me for when later, in school, a friend of mine would come with the Cyberpunk 2020 basic sourcebook and say “This game looks good, want to give it a try?”.

2. What made you decide to start The Madqueen Show? When did it start? And how did it become what it is today?

When I started my channel I was totally obsessed with building in fallout 4. At that time I had an “artistic” job but, to be honest, the creativity that I could develop there was almost non-existant so I kind of compensated this lack by building in Fallout 4. I shared my buildings on Reddit and soon people started to ask how to recreate structures that I put in my buildings so I started a YouTube channel to be able to explain it better for the people at Reddit. The first week, when I was just starting, I did a video with variants of a structure that a very popular Fallout 4 YouTuber did, and he liked my variations so much that he talked about me in his videos and I got a thousand followers in my first week. Back then I wasn’t taking the channel seriously, it was just a hobby to relax after work, nor was I able to put more time on it as I crunched a lot.

Some time after that I had a very stupid accident and it took me a year to be able to walk again. On the one hand I had a lot of time to reflect on my life choices and I left my job. On the other, I had an insane time as I was at home and I wasn’t able to walk, so I started to do more YouTube videos. At one point, I discovered the existence of the Cyberpunk 2077 video game, based on a Pen and Paper game I loved, and I went crazy. I started to talk about it all the time because I wanted people to understand why was it going to be so awesome, and I became the first YouTube channel focused on Cyberpunk 2077 exclusively (well, almost exclusively), and I was moderately successful on it. I wasn’t taking it very seriously back then, I had the idea of moving to London and get an Art Direction position similar to the one I left behind, but I was always hesitant as I doubted I would get a chance to develop any kind of creativity in “commercial art”. Although positions like this are usually very well paid, money doesn’t make you happy. At least, it doesn’t make me happy. So I went on with the YouTube channel learning new skills to be able in the future to do more creative things based on the Cyberpunk universe, and I opened my Patreon page, I was overwhelmed by the support and, with this, I could go full time. Unfortunately, my personal situation started to get worse and worse and, at one point, for personal reasons I thought about going back to my original plan of getting an Art Direction position and thought about closing my channel for good, I took a 4 months break to decide what was I going to do. After this break, someone I respect a lot gave me the kick in the butt I needed to really focus on what I was doing and really take it to another level or die trying. I would say this is exactly the point where my channel became what it is today, a mix between totally changing my personal situation and a needed kick in the butt.

madqueen2

3. I’ve noticed that your YouTube videos have a really high production quality. How did you become so good at making them?

If you really want to make something, you will find your way. Nothing substitutes the force of will: not money, not skills, not even talent. If you really want to do something, you’ll find the way to do it.

That’s how people become good in whatever they are doing. And I just couldn’t (and can’t) stop doing what I can’t help doing. So I just learned how to do it, and I still am, I have a lot to learn.

4. Where do you get your ideas /inspiration for your videos?

I’m a brainstorming machine: I have a notepad filled with ideas for videos, the half of which most probably I won’t be able to develop because I have only two hands, and I’m constantly creating new. People who visit my channel tend to tell me that I’m very open-minded, and this is the key: how you see life is how you generate ideas, because, in the end, everything is possible and if you don’t have an open mind and listen to people on different backgrounds to yours you limit yourself and create a tunnel vision that doesn’t allow you to generate original ideas because your own personal universe is very limited. It’s not about thinking out of the box, is realizing there is no box in the first place, you just created this box to find a space that is mentally comfortable, but if you always stay where it’s comfortable you will never do anything interesting.

I also have a huge audiovisual and artistic baggage, which is very important as well.

Madqueen3

5. What are your top three Cyberpunk works, and why?

Mind Players by Pat Cadigan would be the first. Is not as complex as other Cyberpunk works regarding structure, thematically is very complex but Cadigan has a mastery for words that not even William Gibson can match, so is much more comfortable to read than other classics like Neuromancer, for this reason I always recommend this book to people that want to introduce themselves to the Cyberpunk genre for the first time. Is has the warmth and humanity that other Cyberpunk works don’t have, although some people consider it to be post-Cyberpunk. Cyberpunk worlds are cold, threatening, and unforgiving, but they’re ultimately filled with people and although coldness may emerge when people are fighting for their lives, people still have a heart. And, no, the story is not romantic, I don’t mean that kind of heart.

The film adaptation of Ghost in The Shell by Mamory Oshii is a masterpiece, that ultimately show people will still be people no matter what technology they have available. Way more serious than the comic books, which I honestly appreciate. The mix of opposites of, on the one hand, talking about what it means to be human in a world where humanity and technology are merged and, on the other, the political means of those who are in control of such technology is splendid. Too bad the live action remake failed to understand most of it and only explored the visuals which is funny, as it wasn’t Ghost in the Shell, was only the Shell.

A Scanner Darkly is a masterpiece, both the Philip K. Dick book and the Richard Linklater film adaptation (starring Keanu Reeves, by the way). It’s technically not Cyberpunk, mostly proto-cyberpunk, written in this stage of Philip K. Dick’s life where he was taking a lot of drugs and it took a toll on his surroundings, so the technology that is impacting on the setting of this story is a synthetic drug created from a plant, that, as cybernetic technology, makes the protagonist wonder about his humanity. Also the right amount of politics centered on manufacturing a threat to use it as excuse to control the population, because this is Cyberpunk and the Cyberpunk genre is and has always been strongly political. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be called “punk”.

Cyberpunk 2077 questions:

6.  I’ve noticed you have a lot of videos about Cyberpunk 2077 lore. Can you explain where the Cyberpunk 2077 universe comes from, and what has happened in the history of the universe (like the end of the Net between 2020 and 2077).

Cyberpunk 2077 is inspired by, and follows the timeline of, the pen and paper game Cyberpunk by Mike Pondsmith, published by his company R. Talsorian Games, and it’s a parallel universe to ours that started to diverge in the late 80s. It’s hard to explain the whole timeline of events from 1989 to 2077 in some lines, as a lot happened, but let’s say that the climate change (and the lack of policies by the governments of the world to combat it), the world stock market crash provoked by an organization headed by the CIA that took control of the government of the Sates and the corruption of civil servants that needed the money of megacorporations to survive, provoked a slow economic and environmental apocalypse, so slow people didn’t even noticed until it was already here and changed the world order. This new world order included a society so heavily focused on extreme capitalism that megacorporations acquired the absolute power and the people of the street level do whatever they can to survive, as they mean nothing to anyone. But some people try to escape the control of the megacorps and think by themselves, called the Edgerunners or Cyberpunks, although they’re powerless and they know it. They believe in social upheaval to fight the economic powers, but while they daydream with anarchy they do what they can to survive.

7.  You are one of the few Youtubers providing videos in Spanish. Do you also have videos/subtitles in Spanish and Catalan? And why is it important for you that videos be available in languages that aren’t only English?

My videos are available in English, Spanish, German, and some in Polish. I started adding Spanish subtitles as people around me in real life, who don’t speak English well enough to follow the videos as their main languages are Spanish and Catalan, wanted to see what I did. German subtitles came because a German follower wanted the videos to be available for people around them, same with Polish subtitles, although not all Cyberpunk videos are available in Polish. The rest are added by the community. In the end, only the Spanish subtitles were my idea, the rest are my community’s idea, and I think it’s great, this way people can learn about the Cyberpunk lore without language being a barrier. Thanks to one of the moderators, called Ben, every single video I publish has Spanish subtitles.

Madqueen community podcast

8.  How did you come to join the community podcast, and what is it like being one of the 4 each week?

Syb (from the Triple S league) and I worked together for years (and did zillions of Cyberpunk podcast in the past together for years) and we always wanted to collaborate with more creators and to create a place for the community around Cyberpunk 2077. After I returned from my 4 months break, more creators started to focus exclusively or heavily on this game, the Neon Arcade created his channel and Last Known Meal started to put a focus on it, so it was a great way to invite them to make something together. It’s funny and I love it, back in the day it felt very lonely because there wasn’t such a big interest on Cyberpunk 2077 and it was very difficult to find people to do things with, but now the attention on the game is massive and I have more people to play with.

Madqueen4

Final question:

9. What does Cyberpunk mean to you?

I think Science Fiction and, more specifically, Cyberpunk, are responsible for the worldview I have nowadays and my lifelong evolution as a person, so I have a lot to thank to Mike Pondsmith. And this is the shortest I can explain it without entering in a hundred pages dissertation.

 

Cyberpunk Actor Profile: Keanu Reeves

Neo Rooftop

Keanu Reeves: A Cyberpunk Icon

Keanu Reeves has been in countless Cyberpunk films: the Matrix Trilogy, Johnny Mnemonic, and A Scanner Darkly just to name a few. But beyond just a face on the silver screen, Keanu Reeves has known not just fame and fortune, but great heartbreak and hardship in his life as well. So here at Cyberpunk Matrix I thought I’d take a walk with you through the gallery of all the Cyberpunk films Reeves has been in, and have a look at Hollywood’s new favorite leading man and internet sensation. So join me and learn something new about the humble powerhouse that is Keanu Reeves.

Keanu childhood

A Difficult Childhood

Keanu Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon on September 2nd, 1964 to a British mother and Hawaiian American father of mixed heritage. They married in Beirut when his mother, Patricia, was only 19 and his father Samuel was 21. They had one more child, Kim, and then Samuel abandoned the family struggling from substance abuse when Keanu was only three years old. After his divorce with Keanu’s mother in 1966, he went to prison for ten years for selling Heroin at Hilo International Airport. Keanu then moved to Sydney with his mother for a year before moving again to New York City, where Patricia married the Broadway and Hollywood director Paul Aaron in 1970. The marriage lasted a year before divorce in 1971 and the two moved yet again to Toronto. It would be here, in Yorkville, that Keanu would spend the majority of his childhood. In 1976 Patricia would marry her third husband, a rock music promoter named Robert Miller. The marriage would last until 1980. Her fourth and final husband was a hairdresser named Jack Bond, and their marriage lasted until 1994. Because of the busy and tumultuous life of his mother, Keanu and his sisters were mainly raised by nannies and his grandparents. He attended 4 different High Schools, one of which he was expelled from for being “a little too rambunctious” before he dropped out of High School altogether at the age of 17. This was partly because at 15 he decided he would become an actor, and had begun working as a production assistant for his stepfather.

Heartbreaking Losses

Keanu has experienced many heartbreaking losses in his life, which admirably haven’t broken Keanu’s kind, humble spirit.

River and Keanu

Death of Best Friend River Phoenix

After working with River Phoenix, Joaquin Phoenix’s older brother, in the 1990 movie I Love You To Death Keanu became very close best friends with River. He would then star with him the following year in My Own Private Idaho. Unfortunately, River died suddenly on October 31st, 1993 from a drug overdose at the age of 23, which heavily affected Keanu.

Ava Reeves

Death of Baby Ava (Stillborn)

In 1998 Keanu met the love of his life, Jennifer Syme, at a party. The following year they learned that she was pregnant with a baby girl. The couple were apparently over the moon, until Jennifer realized the baby hadn’t moved in a while. An ultrasound on Christmas eve revealed that the baby had died after 8 months, and would be a stillborn. The news devastated Keanu and Jennifer, causing them to split up shortly thereafter.

Jennifer Syme

Death of Ex Jennifer Syme

After a couple years had passed, Keanu and Jennifer had remained good friends and things were looking like they might be able to rekindle their relationships. Unfortunately, it was never meant to be. On April 1st, 2001, after attending a party at Marilyn Manson’s home, a friend drove a drunk Syme home. However, Syme wanted to return to the party despite her state, and got behind the wheel of her car in the early morning of April 2nd. She would then drive into some parked cars in LA, and because she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, was ejected through the windshield and died instantly. She was later buried next to Ava.

Kim Reeves

Sister Kim Develops Leukemia

In the early 2000s Kim was diagnosed with Leukemia, which was very hard on Keanu to hear. In a show of support, Keanu took good care of her, and even donated millions towards cancer research and various charity organizations, hoping to help save her life. This time, however, there would be a happy ending. After 10 years battling the deadly disease, she finally emerged victorious, thanks to her determination, self-belief, and her brother.

Acting Career

Youngblood (1986 film) - Wikipedia

Keanu officially started his acting career in 1984, but his first major motion picture appearance was in the 1986 film Youngblood alongside Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, and Cynthia Gibb. He then appeared in the academy award-winning film Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and two Bill & Ted time-traveling comedies (Excellent adventure, 1989, and Bogus Journey, 1991). During the 1990s he also starred in the cop action thriller Point Break (1991), Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), and the action Hollywood blockbuster Speed (1994). Finally, in 1995 he would star in the titular role of the first of what would be many different Cyberpunk films: Johnny Mnemonic.

Cyberpunk Films

Johnny Mnemonic

Johnny Mnemonic (1995)

Johnny Mnemonic was a 1995 Canadian-American film and one of the earliest films to visually represent cyberspace and the internet. It’s based on the short story of the same name by William Gibson (Neuromancer), who also assisted as screenwriter. In the film, Keanu plays Johnny, a courrier who stores sensitive data in his cybernetic brain, a bit like an organic USB stick. The film is set in a dystopian future where megacorporations dominate the landscape and there are strong Asian influences as well, such as the Yakuza. The movie would eventually bomb (maybe because of the code-breaking Navy dolphin? No, I’m not kidding…) but it did garner a bit of a cult following afterwards. However, this would pave the way for Reeves to finally take up the mantle for his perhaps most recognizable and historic roles, Neo in the Matrix Franchise.

Keanu Neo

The Matrix Trilogy (1999-2003)

The Matrix trilogy needs no introduction, and is my favorite trilogy of all time (for more on WHY I love the Matrix so much, check out my Legacy of the Matrix post here.) Reeves plays a computer programmer called Thomas Anderson by day, and hacker Neo by night, until he meets Morpheus and learns the truth about the world, that he is living in a simulated virtual reality and the real world is actually a dystopian future with a war raging between humanity and machines. 100% would recommend.

A Scanner Darkly

A Scanner Darkly (2006)

After the Matrix trilogy, the next cyberpunk film Keanu did was called A Scanner Darkly. Yet another adaptation of a PKD novel (there were a lot of those), A Scanner Darkly is a 2006 thriller written and directed by Richard Linklater. Cast included Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, and Winona Ryder. It told the story of another near-future dystopia controlled by intrusive high-tech police surveillance in the middle of a drug epidemic. 20% of the population are addicted to a hallucinatory drug called Substance D. Keanu plays Bob Arctor, an undercover agent who uses a “scramble suit” to keep his identity hidden while at the police station. It’s a film filled with paranoia and uncertainty, another thrilling story of questioning reality. It’s also shot in a very unusual style: by being shot digitally and then animated using interpolated rotoscope, giving it its animated look.

Man of Tai Chi

Man of Tai Chi: Reeves’ Directorial Debut (2013)

Technically not Cyberpunk, this is a worthwhile mention since it is Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut. Directed and starring Keanu Reeves as Donaka Mark, Reeves cast himself as the movie’s main antagonist for perhaps one of the first times. The main character, Tiger Chen, is actually the protege of Yuen Woo Ping (Crouching Tiger, Matrix choreographer) as well as Keanu’s close teacher and friend. He also had a minor role in Matrix Reloaded–you may recognize him as that guy who was shocked when Neo clubbed him to death at the end of the fight in the chateau.

tiger chen

“Uh-oh.”

John Wick

John Wick Franchise

The following year in 2014, Reeves played the titular assassin in what would become a surprise hit and franchise. While not technically Cyberpunk, it does have an underground world of assassins and simply tons of badass action sequences including fistfights, handgun fights, fights with assault rifles and shotguns, and fights with everyday objects! The films were directed by Chad Stahelski, who worked as a stunt double for Reeves in the Matrix franchise. He is also reported to be helping out with stunts again in the upcoming Matrix 4 sequel.

Replicas_09-07-16_0088.CR2

Replicas (2018)

The final Cyberpunk film with Keanu Reeves in this list is the indie and little-known film called Replicas. Directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Keanu plays a neuroscientist who brings his family back to life via copying their consciousness into androids after they die in a car crash. Unfortunately, it was panned critically.

Johnny Silverhand without glasses

Cyberpunk 2077 (September 2020)

Not a film but rather the first time that Keanu Reeves voices and features in a big-budget video game, Reeves will star as the augmented punk rocket Johnny Silverhand. As perhaps one of the most highly anticipated videogames of 2020, Reeves’ role was announced with a new video game trailer in 2019, before Keanu himself walked on stage at the Microsoft E3 2019 briefing to announce the (now-delayed) release date of Cyberpunk 2077.

Keanu E3 2

In the announcement a fan yelled that he was breathtaking, to which Keanu, ever the humble man, replied “no, YOU’RE breathtaking. You’re ALL breathtaking!”

you're breathtaking

Interesting Hobbies

During his long and highly acclaimed acting career, Keanu has also taken part in a lot of interesting side hobbies, in addition to his philanthropic actions. Some of them may surprise you.

Keanu Dogstar

Band Bassist for Dogstar

Dogstar was a band active from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, and in their band Keanu Reeves played the Bass guitar. The band formed when Keanu ran into Robert Mailhouse in a grocery store, and they just started talking and hit it off. After jamming together a couple times they formed the band, which was later joined by Gregg Miller, the oriignal lead guitarist and singer. He would end up leaving the band because of his demanding schedule in hollywood.

Arch Motorcycle Keanu

Co-founded Arch Motorcycles

Keanu is also an avid motorcyclist–he even featured in a motorcycle ad during the superbowl! He was enough of a Motorcycle fan that he co-founded a designer motorcycle company called Arch Motorcycles.

A long and interesting life

So these are all the things that stuck out for me about the interesting life of Keanu Reeves, and why he is one of the most cyberpunk actors out there. But what do you think? Do you know of anyone else who is as synonymous to Cyberpunk films as Reeves? If so, who? Let me know in the comments below. And let me know if I left anything out!

Matrix 4 Updates May 2020

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Matrix 4 Updates May 2020

A lot of these updates are the same ones that I posted back in March, but now you get to see my thoughts and reactions in video format! Like what happened to Neo, why does he look that way? And who were those people suspended in mid-air between the skyscrapers, and what does it mean if they were who I thought they were?

Coronavirus News Included

Present in this video that was lacking back in March are the COVID-19 production updates that hadn’t happened yet back in March. On March 16th they announced production for Matrix 4 would be delayed, and then luckily on May 13th just a couple weeks ago they announced that they would start buck up again by early July at the latest in Berlin, Germany. Over on the NeoMatrixology channel, Lazarus has reported what such a reopening may look like here.

Lana Wachowski directing the action herself

A final additional update is that we learned that Lana Wachowski will be directing the action herself, as reported in this article. This is great news, because it will ensure that the action scenes for Matrix 4 are as impressive as they were for the original trilogy.

What did you think about 2020’s Matrix 4 news? What do you think we have in store, and do you think COVID-19 will force an additional delay in the production of Matrix 4? Will the release date be pushed back past May 21st, 2021? Let me know in the comments below!

Review: Minority Report

Minority report poster

Minority Report: Classic Sci-Fi Cyberpunk from 2002

There’s a good chance you probably remember Minority Report, the classic Sci-Fi flick from 2002 directed by Stephen Spielberg. Perhaps all you remember is the cool futuristic hand-interface he used, or the eyeball scenes (you know which ones). If you’ve never seen this film, you should really check it out, as it was very influential, popular, and definitely fits comfortably in the Cyberpunk category. And coming from no surprise, it’s one of many films that was inspired from a short story by Philip K Dick.

The movie itself was optioned after total recall, and is one of the few from Steven Spielberg in the Cyberpunk category, who most recently did Ready Player One — which was also an adaptation from a literary story.

The Story

Birthday woes for partyboy Colin Farrell on Minority Report

In the year 2054, crime has been virtually eliminated through the creation of Pre-Crime, a law enforcement squad that prevents crimes before they happen. In order to operate, they rely on three gifted humans called “Pre-cogs” who have visions of future events that will occur. John Anderton (Tom Cruise) leads the team and believes in it completely, until one day the Pre-Cogs predict him of killing a man he has never even heard of before. Thus he goes on the run to escape the rest of his team while at the same time unraveling who was predicted of killing, and why. Tom Cruise as John Anderton gives an exciting, excellent performance, alongside an ambitious rising officer Danny Witwer (Colin Farrell), Max Von Sydow as the Pre-Crime director, and Samantha Morton as the main Pre-Cog.

A Dark Cyberpunk Visual Style–for the most part

It’s well known that Cyberpunk has its visual roots in film noir. Which is why it’s easy to recognize in this film, which uses deliberately overlit scenes, desaturated colors, and a negative that was bleach-bypassed in post-production.

“I had John Huston in my ear,” [Spielberg] explained later in an interview. “I went back and looked at The Maltese Falcon and Hawks’ The Big Sleep—to see how some of those film noir mysteries were resolved. They didn’t dot every i and cross every t. They tried to keep you off-balance. They asked more questions than they could answer in those days.”

hipinion.com • View topic - are you buyin cheetos to get rich with ...

In the first 20 minutes we have drugs, a dealer with no eyes, giant billboards spewing propaganda along rainy pavements and city streets at night, and an introduction of how the 3 precogs allow for pre-crime and how it works (predicting a victim and perpetrator, and a young newcomer just arriving to see how it works) as a man is stopped from killing his wife and her lover.

MINORITY REPORT (2002) - The Arrest of Howard Marks - YouTube

Free Will vs. Determinism

This is interesting in comparison to the Short story, which is a lot cleaner and more elegant. The ending result will be more elegant for the short story as well, focusing more on politics and power than on what happens, whereas the film focuses more on the free will vs. determinism and action elements, as well as the film noir mystery being solved (where is my minority report? asks a desperate John Anderton). The question of this paradigm is in the foreground throughout the film, especially in its climactic conclusion.

Futuristic, yet Realistic, Technology

Minority Report pour de vrai : cette IA peut prédire vos actions ...

Just remember Tom Cruise did it first.

Iron man - Jarvis Holotable - YouTube

Also, the idea of moving around visual images from a recording using a hand or a glove was completely novel when this film came out in 2002. Robert Downey Jr. has perhaps since popularized it with his marvel character Tony Stark in Iron man, but that movie came out a full six years later, in 2008. Minority report would prove to be truly visionary and predictive of the future to come (with technology nowadays such as VR and Google Glass).

https://www.zdnet.fr/i/edit/ne/2019/09/hololens28620.jpg

Microsoft’s Holo Lens

Other futuristic technology includes animations and audio on the cereal box (you can see the hilarious scene of which below), and back-lit glass screens for computers. There are also holograms in Anderton’s room.

This was no coincidence, as Spielberg invited 15 experts from various fields of science and culture to participate in a three-day “think tank” to try to imagine and predict a possible future society. This is how we got the Pre-Crime user interface mentioned above, self-updating newspapers, personalized billboards, and the mag-lev transportation system.

Automated Cars From Minority Report GIF | Gfycat

The highways going vertical and horizontal, sloping along buildings, with slim cars like covered motorbikes without steering wheels was incredibly interesting to see back in 2002.

Ads being created by eye scans is definitely something that would be possible in the future.

Minority report future tom cruise GIF on GIFER - by Thetadar

Also police using jetpacks was one of the first times I saw such things in a movie set in the near future.

“I wanted all the toys to come true someday”–Steven Spielberg

A final note on the technology were the creepy “Spyders”, autonomous robots used as ways to identify humans in buildings. They entered apartments in entire apartment buildings, and no matter what the residents were doing–like a mother with her children, an old married couple fighting, a young couple having sex–all were alarmed, then allowed themselves to be scanned, before continuing on with their business as usual–as if they were quite used to the whole process.

Minority Report 15 Years Later

A Familiar Soundtrack Style–from John Williams

The Soundtrack was done by John Williams and feels as such. Close your eyes at times and it could be mistaken for scenes in an Imperial Star Destroyer, or duel of the fates. I think it’s due to his heavy use of violins and horns. When John finds out he’s supposed to be the one to kill, and then climbs on his own car, again I have visions of Anakin Skywalker doing the same in Revenge of the sith with the elevator. John Williams’ music is so familiar!

Déjà-Vu

The idea of an echo, a pre-cog déjà vu, was something novel in the movie that was not in the short story. However, déjà-vu and questioning reality is of course something Philip K Dick would have liked all too well.

A Subsequent TV Series (that was cancelled)

Minority Report : le futur s'affiche sur petit écran | Geekzone.fr

The movie also resulted in a TV series that was cut from 13 to 10 episodes and then cancelled due to poor ratings.

Final Thoughts

Minority Report is a fun, exciting film that combines elements of thrilling film noir with a fast pace set in a fascinating realistic future while also making the viewer think. It doesn’t hit you over the head with existential questions the way others like the Matrix might, and while heavy on action, it also gives the film time to breathe. Also, like many of Spielberg’s films, it has a secondary focus on broken families. This film, although Cyberpunk in its seemingly utopian society, is lighter on the typical cyberpunk aesthetics and while it has somewhat futuristic technology, there is no biopunk, robots, augments, or any other transhumanism elements (other than a black market eye transplantation). There’s also no virtual or AI elements either, although there are some drug addiction elements present. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent film, one that’s withstanding the ages, and a welcome addition to the Cyberpunk Genre.

What makes Minority Report so good isn’t the fact it managed to successfully predict several aspects of the future, or that it offered some revolutionizing insight into the ever-going philosophical debate of free will versus predetermination, or that it features great performances from not only Cruise but also Colin Farrell, Max von Sydow and Samantha Morton. This film is great because it delivers a thrilling spectacle that’s at the same time both brains and brawns. As Ebert noted in his original review, Minority Report is a film that works on our minds and our emotions made by a “master filmmaker at the top of his form.”–Sven Mikulec, Cinephilia & Beyond

Final Verdict: 8/10

 

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