I’ve been rewatching the excellent Amazon adaption of William Gibson’s The Peripheral. I’ve said if before, no single artist has had a bigger impact on my aesthetics than Gibson. As the father of cyberpunk, his impact looms large over the computing industry.
Molly Millions is a cyborg in William Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy which includes the famous Neuromancer. A dark brunette, she has mirror shade eyes and razors under her nails. Molly is first introduced in the shorty story Johnny Mnemonic which became a Hollywood thriller with the same title. In the movie, Molly is renamed as Jane but is fundamentally the same character.
In Johnny Mnemonic the movie we have an entirely new aesthetic for Molly Millions as Jane. The brooding inaccessible brunette of Molly Millions is replaced with a curly haired blonde played by Dina Mayer.
I personally loved Dina Mayer’s energy in Johnny Mnemonic. She brought a kind of girl next door folksiness that brought a lot of humanity to the problems of being a cyborg. She was light where technology dictated a darker aesthetic. Cyberpunk needed a Betty.
I assume some of this is related to the creative direction of photographer (of Men in Suits fame) Robert Longo but it could have easily been Dina Mayer’s rising star in Hollywood. She was the star of Starship Troopers as well.
I hadn’t thought much beyond it until I watched the Peripheral.
But now all I can see in the Peripheral is how much Flynn Fisher (as played by Chloe Grace Moretz) looks like Dina Mayer’s Jane. In my fantasy, it’s like I’m seeing the first woman Willian Gibson ever loved. It almost makes a romantic of me imagining a world where a curly haired blonde mattered to him. But the essence shared by Moretz and Mayer is hard to deny.
Chloe Grace Moretz as Flynn Fisher
I see a lot of little similarities between the two actresses but it’s ultimately the affect. The bold lip and the harsh pulled back hair is contrasted in softer moments with wild curly halos and warm inviting features. Flynn is a southern girl. I’ve got no idea if Jane had a heritage. But now I’ll always wonder why the dark mirror shaded women of Neuromancer became a blonde.