- 10 August 2009
- By John Howell
Terry Gilliam, renowned for his excellent science fiction/fantasy films such as Brazil and Twelve Monkeys, as well as being part of the Monty Python comedy team, is planning to adapt Philip K. Dick’s science fiction novel The World Jones Made for the big screen.
Speaking to HitFix, he revealed that he was a huge fan of Dick’s work and would be meeting with Dick’s daughter to discuss the adaptation. Responding to a question about the possibility of adapting The Man in the High Castle, Gilliam said:
“…there's another one that people don't know called The World Jones Made. Do you know that one? That really fascinates me... where we're in a world where basically everything is relative. It can't be black and white because there's a more religious fundamentalism that we're talking about. So now everything is relative. And then the idea that a guy comes along that can see the future, and it is not relative... that intrigues me, and I don't know exactly how to do it.”
This is the fourth Philip K. Dick story adaptation I’ve heard about recently; along with The World Jones Made, there’s Ubik, Walt Disney’s adaptation of King of the Elves, Flow My Tears the Policeman Said and another Total Recall remake. It appears movie producers are realising more and more what a rich source of material Dick’s novels and short stories are. Let's hope we're looking at another Blade Runner, Minority Report or the underrated Impostor,three movies already successfully spawned from Philip K. Dick material.
Unfortunately though, no one seems to have any plans for the novel The Man in the High Castle. Perhaps whoever holds the rights to The Man in the High Castle has been unhappy with those who have approached them so far? I would have suggested Ridley Scott or James Cameron (if only someone had bothered to ask me), but Scott seems to have so many projects lined up (an Alien Prequel, Brave New World and The Forever War just to name a few) that he’ll have no time to fit anything in before 2025, while James Cameron will probably need a couple of years of rest after finishing Avatar.
The World Jones Made is not one of Dick’s most well known novels. First released in 1956, it tells the story of Floyd Jones, a man with an unusual precognitive ability that lets him see a year into the future. In a post-apocalyptic dystopia devastated by nuclear war, a Federal World Government (Fedgov) enforces strict moral relativism: everyone can believe what they like, but cannot force their beliefs on anyone else. Floyd Jones goes from telling fortunes in a carnival to becoming a cult leader.
The novel explores such concepts as predestination, free will and determinism, and features genetically engineered humans, atomic mutants in live sex shows, spore based aliens and an interstellar war. I imagine this will be more than enough to spark Terry Gilliam’s fertile imagination into dizzying overdrive.
Gilliam has just finished working on The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus which stars the late Heath Ledger, along with Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Christopher Plummer.
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