With each passing year it becomes increasingly outrageous that Joe Cornish hasn’t directed a film since 2011’s Attack the Block, the fantastic sci-fi film that introduced us to the incredibly talented up-and-coming director. Cornish’s name has since been rumored for various projects, but only one of them ever seemed to stick: Snow Crash, an adaptation of Neal Stephenson’s acclaimed novel, which Cornish signed on to helm in 2012. We’ve heard next to nothing about the project since then, so we assumed that it might be off the table — and that’s where the good news comes in.

Collider recently spoke with producer Frank Marshall, who provided an update on Cornish’s adaptation of Stephenson’s 1992 novel. The short version: It could begin filming next year —

It’s a very, very cool book; and Joe Cornish is developing it with us and I hope we get started on that next year, I’m excited about that one… It’s a complicated story. It takes place in the near future and it has a lot of virtual reality in it, it’s a character that goes back-and-forth between what’s called the ‘metaverse’ in Los Angeles, but the sequences are fantastic and it really gives Joe the opportunity to show that great imagination that he has and create some fantastic scenes. If you look it up you’ll see it’s sort of the bible of the internet universe. Neil wrote this back in the ‘90s and you’ll see it’s a very highly regarded book.

Marshall is right. Stephenson’s sci-fi novel is credited with popularizing the term “avatar” and, according to at least one of the founders of Google Earth, served as the inspiration for the company’s virtual program.

Here’s the official synopsis for Snow Crash:

In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crashis a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately.

Although Cornish hasn’t directed a film since Attack the Block, he did work on the Ant-Man screenplay with Edgar Wright before the latter left the project, and he co-wrote The Adventures of Tintin with Wright and Steven Moffat. But with this optimistic update from Frank Marshall, maybe we’ll finally get a new Cornish film sooner rather than later.