There’s an up-and-coming force to be reckoned with when it comes to science fiction in Hollywood. A man who goes by the not-very-well known name of Philip K. Dick. There’s no point in drawing out this dumb introduction, seeing as how Dick seems to be one of four science fiction authors that screenwriters are able to get past a film company’s front lines.
This time, Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions is producing an adaptation of Dick’s novel, The Man in the High Castle, turning it into a four-part miniseries for Syfy. All right, now, keep your groans to a minimum. Electric Shepherd Productions, which handles production duties for Dick’s estate, will co-produce with Headline Pictures. Back in 2010, Headline was supposed to have turned the project into a BBC miniseries, but the gods seriously fucked everybody over on that one.
Screenwriting duties fall to sci-fi scribe Frank Spotnitz, who is writing the first two hours and will supervise whoever comes in for the second half. Spotnitz is known for his work as a writer/producer on The X-Files, Millennium, and most recently the Melissa George series, Hunted. To me, he’ll always be revered as the guy who created the X-Files spin-off, The Lone Gunmen, which never gets mentioned enough in the “cancelled too soon” conversations.
The novel’s plot — one that will no doubt become increasingly convoluted and meaningless once televised — concerns an alternate history where Germany and Japan were the victors of WWII, and are now forcefully occupying the United States. And like any WWII drama, there are some hiding Jews involved. Films rarely convey the paranoia and societal distrust that Dick imbues his novels with. And (snort) maybe Syfy (snort) will be the ones to do it right. Bahahaha.