New, longer *A Scanner Darkly* trailer.

Oh joy, oh bliss. (Link to 30Mb Quicktime file.)

Now hurry up and be summer already. I’ve been waiting for this movie for over seven freaking years of development hell.

Happily, there’s absolutely no indication that it’s going to suck, although my heart sank when Keanu was cast as Arctor.

From all appearances, though – this looks like it may be the first Dick adaptation that is absolutely faithful to the source – and thank god, because it’s quite possibly his best novel and any mistreatment of it would be criminal.

Oh great, another Keanu Reeves vs. The System movie.

Well, that was annoying to look at.

There is no evil system as an antagonist in A Scanner Darkly. It’s a very personal story about the devastating effects of drug abuse, with a thin sci-fi gloss over it to make it marketable. Most of it is taken directly from Dick’s familiarity with the speed scene in Marin County, watching the people around him (and himself) transform from interestingly bohemian to crippled, psychotic, or dead. It’s funny, horrifying, and ultimately heartbreaking. The novel ends with an afterword that includes a litany of casualties as a sort of dedication. I’m glad that the movie is being made now, since meth has become even more problematic than it was in the early seventies.

I think Keanu might actually be able to pull it off, since the role really only requires that he act confused and paranoid. The rest of the cast is perfect.

Keanu? He can do confused, at least. I’ll suck it up and go see it; I loved the book. Wish someone brilliant would try a movie adaption of ‘Ubik’.

It’s becoming abundantly clear that I’m the only one that likes Keanu Reeves as an actor (you want irony? I hated the Matrix). I’m not a rabid fan or anything like that, I just don’t think he’s all that bad.

I love Robert Downey Junior and will watch anything he’s in, I generally enjoy Richard Linklater movies, and dig the animation (which is something because I don’t normally like it, with the odd exception).

It didn’t know a whole lot about it but after watching the trailer, I’m really excited.

Robert Downey Jr was born to play Barris. Okay, maybe not born, but he accidentally spent most of his life researching the role. He’s going to be fantastic.

He’s really hot and cold for me. I’m definitely “hot” for this one. I met Linklater way back in the early nineties, when Dazed and Confused (cold) was in limited release. Spent most of the time boring him to death (I’m sure) about how much I got off on all the the ridiculously subtle little details in Slacker, which is not nearly so random as it appears on first viewing.

Speaking of ridiculously subtle little details, I just noticed something about the Scanner trailer. It looks like, in the scene where surveillance of Arctor and Donna in the car is taking place, the “data” that is scrolling by in some of the adjacent windows is fragments from an early script for Blade Runner – and they’re bits that specifically underline some of the themes that Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and A Scanner Darkly have in common – personal confict about the protagonists’ self-identity and complicity with authority, and the ever-present Dark-Haired Girl.

Not going to be noticed by anyone without the aid of a pause button, I guess, but kind of neat. A few points shaved off for changing Donna’s hair colour – but I’m guessing that’s only going to matter to the most obsessive of Dickheads.

No, I like him, too. I thought he was terrific in The Gift.

Being a Hellblazer fan, I bid you humble welcome to my world.

I’m excited as hell about this movie. The cover story in this month’s Wired is about the bloody nightmare that post-production became. Linklater swears he’ll never do another animated movie.

When is the official release date?

At the moment, it’s 7/7. I think by now they’re reluctant to actually attach a concrete date to any of the promotional materials, though. :smiley:

No, you’re not the only one – I agree with you that he can be quite good.

I also hate the Matrix, so obviously, we both have impeccable taste. :slight_smile:


He clearly knows how to manage his career. He did choose not to do Speed 2 after all. That, itself, puts him in my good books.

I haven’t read the book but I’m pretty sure I know what you’re getting at there. I think people forget that he’s been nominated for an Oscar. If I didn’t like Pacino so much, I’d say Robert Downey Jr. was robbed (but enough of that hijack).

I just love the animation. It reminds me a great deal of Ryan.

I have to say that the idea of the release date being pushed back again and again doesn’t bode well. Still, I am lookign forward to seeing it.

I wouldn’t say that I hated Keanu Reeves – but I’ve never seen him deliver a performance that knocked me out.

I’ve heard that he did a good job in Thumbsucker, but I haven’t seen it.

I have seen him in pictures that he didn’t stink up. I thought he was adequate in The Matrix. He was fine in The Devil’s Advocate. (That movie’s problems weren’t in the performances; it had a weak, weak script.)

He just has a limited range, and an unfortunate history of being horribly miscast, so that when he does stand out, it’s for all the wrong reasons.

I really want this movie to live up to novel, so I’d ideally have liked to have seen the role of Arctor go to a fecking brilliant actor. I’m pretty much reconciled to Keanu as Arctor now, though – and fairly optimistic. It’s not nearly so much of a stretch for him as something like his best-forgotten Jonathon Harker was. I think he’ll probably be watchable as Bob Arctor, and even have some hope that he’ll surprise us with something well beyond his usual performance. To be fair, it seems like he’s often either given something entirely beyond his ability to carry off, or something that gives him virtually nothing to work with. Maybe this role will hit that sweet spot at the apogee of his capability.

The one thing in the trailer that makes me a little bit apprehensive is his delivery of the line, “You mean the two hemispheres of my brain are competing with each other?” I’m trying really hard not to let that worry me too much, though, because sometimes lines that appear weak in a trailer work perfectly in their proper context – and he is supposed to be brain-damaged, after all.

At any rate, the rest of the casting is flawless, and Keanu’s approximately the right type. It might work. On the other hand, this is the same casting director that selected Keanu for John Constantine. Maybe he just has something over her. :smiley:

Like I said, I have extremely high hopes for this movie. Philip K. Dick was, IMHO, one of the best and most influential writers of the 20[sup]th[/sup] century, and the horrible degree to which his work has been misrepresented on screen so far is really frustrating to me. So far, films that are directly based on his work have been either appallingly bad, barely resembling their sources and opting to substitute tired cliche, or (less frequently) successful in spite of their tenuous connection to Dick’s work. Blade Runner is an excellent film, but only uses the basic plot of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, for the most part discarding (or barely acknowledging) the most interesting elements of the novel, and introducing a radically original stylistic approach.

So far, the most faithful adaptation of his work has been the French-language adaptation of his non-SF effort, Confessions d’un Barjo. (Confessions of a Crap-Artist.) Even there, the protagonist is a strikingly different character from Dick’s self-deprecating autobiographical figure. (Quite apart from being, you know, French.)

With the exception of Blade Runner, film adaptations of his SF have stuck to his penny-per-word pulp-era work – which are of stand-out quality for the pulps, but barely hint at the full flower of his genius. (Sorry, gushing.)

It’s bizarre that (so far) the films that represent PKD’s influence on the field the best all started with entirely original scripts.

For the first time, we’re going to see one of the books from his peak period closely adapted. I’m really hoping that it does well, so that producers might find the balls to take a chance on something like Ubik; Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said; Time Out of Joint; or The Man in the High Castle, instead of pussyfooting around with the “safe” (and not-nearly-as-interesting) stuff.

Don’t get me wrong, that wasn’t meant to minimize his ability, I recognize his talent. It’s just that, in addition to his talent, he has relevant personal experience to draw from. I think it’ll help. Winona, too. Woody Harrelson has already proven that he can play this sort of role with pathos, humour, and authenticity.

Rory Cochrane is a perfect Freck, too – a more comic druggie that’s mostly managing to hold it together, if not exactly excelling in life. I can totally see him running around in the opening scene, frantically collecting his friend’s meth-bugs in a jar. That freaked-out, anxious look of his is perfection. Or, (if it’s included, which it damned-well better be) the scene where they’re trying to work out what’s wrong with his ten-speed. (Treading carefully to avoid spoilers, here.) For the parts where things are still (darkly) comic, Rory Cochrane is brilliantly cast.

I’m ambivalent about it. On the one hand, it’s frustrating because I’ve been anticipating it for so freaking long it hurts. On the other hand, I’d rather they delay its release than compromise with the quality – and besides, a July release is actually better, in some ways, than a March release.