Philip K. Dick Fans, Take Note!

Wired magazine’s got a big piece on Dick and how Hollywood’s gobbling up his ideas.

Dick’s A Scanner Darkly has been optioned, and I hope that it gets filmed, though I’m not happy that it could be a George Clooney vehicle. (He’s as wrong for the role of the lead as he was for Batman.)

Who would be right for that role? Gary Sinise?

I knew it!!

I said it before! Don’t know where, don’t know when, but I said it!

My friends didn’t believe me, but time is giving the Master of Rebel Imagination his right place! I’m a huge PKD fan. And I will be very happy when someone in Hollywood discovers Ubik, IMHO, the most cinematographic novel of this wonderful madman.

I like Dick.

If you’ve never seen Dick, now is a good time to get your hands on some Dick.

Often times, though, Dick is misused. This makes uninformed people think that Dick is bad or somehow shameful.

Let me be the one to say: DICK IS GOOD!
Here’s hoping Dick will rise up to his rightful place, and all will see the true marvel that is Dick.

All hail Dick!

All uses of Dick in this post refer to Phillip K Dick, of course.

Did he Every Write About Android Monkeys?

Somebody is monkeying around with the Dope!


Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle…

Do Not Feed the Monkey.

Ah, so someone else has noticed that we have a monkey on our back.
Let’s get back to the subject at hand:

There are some Dick books that play so freely with time and shifts in reality that the movie could be better than the book. I am thinking of Flow my Tears, the Policeman Said specifically, which would be a nice Vanilla Sky-type freakout-thriller.

(Is that smell the monkey?)

I hoped so since the first line.

Come on, behave! This thread is good! Do you want them to close it?

With the subject again, NoClueBoy make an interesting point (despite of the joke): PKD is often misused. The most of times they (movie makers) can’t catch the very esence of the stories, which Dick used more for transmitting exotic ideas rather than telling stories.

Someone who sees Screamers or The Impostor, may freely think that PKD was such an asshole. But it will be very difficult to translate works like Valis or The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch without losing something in the road.

Actually, his first paperbacks were more cinematographically written, if you pardon me the expression. The Cosmic Puppets, Eye in the Sky, A Maze of Death and again Ubik, are more visually worked, however they don’t lack of Dick’s classic metaphysical deepness.

Grousser writes:

> I said it before! Don’t know where, don’t know when, but I said
> it!

Lots of us have said it. My film reviews are no longer online, so I’ll have to quote them. Here’s what I wrote in my review of The Matrix, which was written shortly after it came out:

> I suspect that the science fiction writer with the most influence
> on recent movies is Philip K. Dick, although he’s been dead for
> seventeen years now. I’m talking about not just the films made
> directly from his novels and stories, like Blade Runner, Total
> Recall
, or Screamers, but also those that show some
> evidence of conscious or unconscious resemblance, like The
> Terminator
, They Live, Dark City, or The Truman Show.
> Dick, who wrote dozens of novels and hundreds of short
> stories between the early 50’s and the early 80’s, had already
> thought of most of the paranoid ideas offered by today’s
> schizophrenics, amateur conspiracy theorists, and X Files
> screenwriters. Whenever a film wonders what’s real, who’s
> manipulating us, and who’s really human, it’s asking questions
> that were treated in Dick’s works forty years ago.

Here’s what I said in my review of eXistenZ, written shortly after that film came out:

> A friend told me, after hearing my review of The Matrix, that if
> I saw similarities in that film to the writings of Philip K. Dick, I
> should see eXistenZ, which is even more Phildickian. And he
> was right. Indeed, having seen eXistenZ myself, I have to
> wonder why it’s been given such haphazard distribution, while
> The Matrix, which plays around with the same ideas in a
> boring and inept fashion, has been touted as one of the major
> films of the year. eXistenZ even has the decency to
> acknowledge its debt to Dick by a throwaway shot of the fast
> food that the main characters are eating. It’s from “Perky
> Pat’s”, which is the name of a kind of virtual reality system in
> one of Philip K. Dick’s stories.

Yikes. How are they gonna film that?

I realise that stories have to be adapted from his novels to make it the silver screen, but even an adaptation can remain true to the intent of the author.

This hasn’t happened in many of the adaptations of Dick to movies. Some might argue it hasn’t happened at all.

How hard is it to keep an idea alive enough for a good movie?

I hope they get this one right. Dick is one of my favourite authors.

I think that the idea of doing A Scanner Darkly has been around for a while. How will Hollywood change the pervasive drug element in the book? How will they ‘action’ it up? Even though Dick has interesting ideas in his works, there still has to be some box office appeal.

I agree with 'possum stalker about Flow my Tears, the Policeman Said as having good potential. I also think that Valis could work now. It could even be set now, just replace Nixon, I mean Farris F. Freemont with Dubya and the story still works.

I’m glad to hear that A Scanner Darkly may hit the silver screen. It will be interesting to see how they’ll handle it.

I also didn’t know that Paycheck had been turned into a movie. I liked the story a lot and it should translate fairly well into a movie.

I’ve been reading a lot of Dick lately (as well as some Heinlein) and I really recommend those who haven’t tried it to give Dick a chance. :slight_smile:

I had heard somewhere that Soderberg and Clooney were going to be the exectutive producers for Through a Scanner Darkly, and they were talking to Richard Linklater about directing it. That has possibilities.

And while I like me some Dick myself, I really think Flow My Tears… sucks. It starts out promising, but then the end reads more like the notes for a novel than an actual fleshed out piece. That’s just me, though.

And I have mixed feelings about Paycheck. In the Big Assed Positive column we have Uma Thurman. In the Big Assed Negative column we have John Woo. Ole Dick himself sometimes had problems with continuity and coherence (which is part of his appeal on the written page, admittedly), but you take that and put Mr. Mission Impossible II in the mix and that’s a recpie for a movie that doesn’t make any damned sense at all. And not in a good way. Still, I will reserve judgement until I see the movie.

I would really like to see Ubik made into a film. I think that it would be easier to adapt than A Scanner Darkly, and I just liked the story better.

In fact, only one Dick novel has been adapted to cinema: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, turned into Blade Runner, as we all know. Well, two, if we count Confessions d’un Barjo. All others are short stories.

I don’t know why they have ignored his other, stranger and deeper works, as the novels I mentioned before, and what about stories like Pipers in the Woods, and his scariest story, IMO: Adjustment Team. Well handled and enhanced, this would be a creepy movie.

I can’t help but wonder what Dick would have thought of his sudden popularity with the masses.

Oh, and vibrotronica, I love that describition of John Woo. Mr. Mission Impossible II indeed. :smiley:

Wasn’t Total Recall his? It certainly fits his style.