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The Failed 1997 Attempt to Bring O’Bannon and Moebius’ “The Long Tomorrow” to TV #cyberpunk

Several months ago, I wrote about the French comic artist, Moebius, and his deep influence on cyberpunk sci-fi. A lot of that influence comes directly from the two-part comic story that he and writer Dan O’Bannon (Dark Star, Alien, Total Recall) published in the 1977 July and August issues of Heavy Metal magazine.

Entitled “The Long Tomorrow,” the piece told the story of Pete Club, a “private inquisitor” in the New New York of the future. The story mixed the gumshoe noir fiction of the past with a gritty, high-tech-saturated future, a mash-up that would become a hallmark of much first-wave cyberpunk to follow. William Gibson has been quoted as saying:

It’s entirely fair to say that the way Neuromancer “looks” was influenced in large part by some of the artwork I saw in Heavy Metal [specifically referring to the O’Bannon and Moebius piece]. I’ve seen that this must also be true of John Carpenter’s Escape from New York, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, and all other artifacts of the style sometimes called cyberpunk.

In 1997, producer Philippe Rivier had plans to bring “The Long Tomorrow” to the small screen as a TV series. Working with Ridley Scott and Moebius himself, he produced this two-minute intro for the series. Moebius and Sylvain Despretz (concept designer for Alien: Resurrection, The Fifth Element, The City of Lost Children) did some designs for the sets and costumes. Sadly, “The Long Tomorrow” show never saw the light of day.

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