- 18 July 2009
- By John Howell
Philip K. Dick's stories have been a rich source of material for Hollywood: Blade Runner, Imposter, Screamers, Minority Report, Total Recall (and the upcoming Total Recall remake) are just a few that spring to mind. The results have been mixed, but the rich flow of ideas produced by Dick's work is a long way from running dry.
Recently announced Philip K. Dick movie adaptations include Ubik and Flow My Tears the Policeman Said. While I haven't heard anything lately regarding Ubik, I was happy to stumble across these snippets about Flow My Tears the Policeman Said, suggesting that this adaptation is moving along nicely.
SFX magazine spoke to Terminator Salvation producers Victor Kubicek and Derek Anderson about why they chose Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said as the first of their film adaptations of Dick's work. With the Halcyon company, they picked up the rights to Philip K. Dick's back catalogue in 2007.
"Obviously all of his novels are special in their own way, but we feel like Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said will adapt really well for the big screen," said Kubicek. "The way it reads is just yearning to be adapted into a feature film".
"It's one of his most linear novels," said Anderson. "So many of the films that have been adaptations of his work haven't been that faithful and one of the reasons why we thought it would be great to do this one first was that we could approach it from a more faithful perspective. For some of the others it would have been challenging to do that. Also, it's one of our favourites. The big thing is we're fans ourselves, so this is something we would want to see."
Nominated for a Hugo Award, Flow My Tears the Policeman Said tells the story of a celebrity, Jason Taverner who is inexplicably stripped of his identity and must adjust to a dystopian future in which even his friends and family no longer recognise him.
The two producers are currently looking for a writer for the screenplay and believe the film will need to be set in a different time frame from the book. The original novel was set in a futuristic 1988, which would obviously not appear particularly futuristic to anyone today.
"We're looking to the Philip K. Dick treasure trove for possible game concepts as well," said Kubicek.
It's great to hear that one of Dick's movie adaptations appears to be moving forward, especially a faithful adaptation, which are all too rare when it comes to science fiction novels, but what I would really like to see (along with a lot of other people I imagine) is a film adaptation of the brilliant The Man in the High Castle. This classic of alternate reality, in which the Nazis won WWII and the true nature of reality appears to be contained in a novel The Grasshopper Lies Down (written by the man in the high castle of the novel's title), could be a sensational film if given the treatment it deserves.
I assume the two producers have the rights to The Man in the High Castle too, but perhaps they're leaving this Hugo winning SF classic until they've got a few more Philip K. Dick film adaptations under their belts? Let's hope they get to this one soon.
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