With the release of Dredd in September, that's two Cyberpunk-themed Hollywood Blockbusters released in the past year.
In addition, there's the Cyberpunk 2077 and Watch Dogs computer games announced for later in the year.
Anyway, it looks to me like Cyberpunk might be making a bit of a comeback in the popular culture. But is today's Cyberpunk the same as that of the 1980's?
Classic Cyberpunk Influences
"after the Cuban missile crisis" he began to doubt both the "radioactive wasteland" and the Technological Utopias of H. G. Wells.Gibson's Cyberpunk is definitely dystopian, but not in the way of classic post-apocalyptic fiction. The protagonists generally lose, but they lose to corporations or general societal dysfunction, not due to their homeland being nuked.
Today's Cyberpunk Influences
Today's Cyberpunk comeback, and it's anti-corporate message, is largely influenced by the 2007 Financial Crisis and the huge amounts of taxpayer-funded bailouts given to floundering corporations(or at least the ones with the good lobbyists). The popular feeling that Corporations have way too much influence on Government, ultimately resulted in the Tea Party and Occupy movements of recent years.
This distrust of Government and it's Corporate Sponsors has always been a major theme of Cyberpunk, as David Brin observes in The Transparent Society:
...a closer look [at cyberpunk authors] reveals that they nearly always portray future societies in which governments have become wimpy and pathetic ...Popular science fiction tales by Gibson, Williams, Cadigan and others do depict Orwellian accumulations of power in the next century, but nearly always clutched in the secretive hands of a wealthy or corporate elite.
The most striking difference between the Cyberpunk of the 80's and that of today is the Heros. While Gibson's heros generally meet an unpleasant end, the heros in the 4 titles above learn to thrive in their environments. The reason for this difference is a result of the influences mentioned above. Gibson's fiction was a warning of what was to come, based on a healthy level of scepticism. The audience of today, on the other hand, feels that what was warned of has to a large degree come to pass--the Cyberpunk future is now and we must learn to deal with it.