With THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU now in theaters (great PKD-centric review here, although I still really liked the film), and with JFD's next few podcasts being writer themed (in honor of March Is Reading Month), I thought the time was right to gather up some exciting new(?) Philip K. Dick movie/TV adaptation news (most of which came over from Quiet Earth).
-First up, a match made in Heaven, as Michel Gondry is set to adapt Dick's famous 1969 novel UBIK, which was set to get a big-screen adaptation as far back as 1974 by French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin (TOUT VA BIEN). Dick even wrote a screenplay version himself, but the project never got off the ground. This is all probably for the best, given the evolution of reality-shifting visual effects, and also because I can't imagine another known working filmmaker of the last many years more suited for UBIK than Gondry. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND is one of the most visually and thematically PKD-esq films ever realized outside of Dick's own material. Gondry's ingenious execution of clever and complexly fascinating visual ideas is a pitch perfect cinematic aesthetic for Dick's reality-altering mind-benders. Also both Gondry and Dick (especially in UBIK) have a playful absurdist streak, which should gel rapturously as well. I for one am all for this and super excited by this news!
-Also recently, The Halcyon Co., who bought up the entire Philip K. Dick estate in 2007, has released plans of adapting FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID as their next project. John Alan Simon, who has already completed a low-budget adaptation of Dick's RADIO FREE ALBEMUTH last year (see below), is suppose to be producing, but there is no word on budget range, writer or director yet.
-Some exciting news from the UK, as Ridley Scott (who has filmed an adaptation of Dick once himself with his masterpiece BLADE RUNNER) is set to produce a 4-Part BBC mini-series based on Dick's novel THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE; which envisions an alternate present day world where the Nazi's and Japanese have won WWII. A mini-series format is a pretty good idea for this one.
-And finally, John Alan Simon's low-budget independent film adaptation of Dick's RADIO FREE ALBEMUTH, a posthumously published alternate early version of his later re-worked gnostic mind-blower VALIS, now has a trailer online. RFA is making the film festival rounds and will probably be released to the general public in some form later this year. The trailer looks questionable, but reports have been positive from PKD fans who have been lucky enough to see this at festival screenings.
In related but older news, Vincenzo Natali (of CUBE fame) is currently in pre-production on his adaptation of J.G. Ballard's HIGH RISE, from a screenplay co-written by himself and Richard Stanley (HARDWARE, DUST DEVIL)!! And PKD-admirer Jonathan Lethem's metaphysical love triangle novel AS SHE CLIMBED ACROSS THE TABLE is supposed to be getting an adaptation directed by David Cronenberg (which has already been previously mentioned on one JFD podcast).