We just found out that one potentially cool sci-fi-themed project at Amazon isn’t going to happen, as news came down that X-Files creator Chris Carter’s apocalyptic The After isn’t going to move forward. But the online retail monolith did officially announce their first pilot season for 2015, and it includes the most exciting project they’ve ever attempted, at least from our perspective, an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, and they also unveiled some new details about the pilot.
The way this works is, starting on January 15, all of the pilots will be available to watch on Amazon Instant Video. You can check them out, rate them, provide feedback, and vote for your favorites. At the end, some of these projects will get full series orders, and others won’t. This is a cool, egalitarian model, though it has yet to result in anything truly noteworthy, but maybe that will change this time.
Around these parts, we’re obviously most excited about the adaptation of Dick’s classic 1962 novel, and here’s what the press release has to say about the pilot:
Based on Philip K. Dick’s Hugo Award-winning 1962 alternative history, The Man in the High Castle considers the question of what would have happened if the Allied Powers had lost World War II. Almost 20 years after that loss, the United States and much of the world has now been split between Japan and Germany, the major hegemonic states. But the tension between these two powers is mounting, and this stress is playing out in the western U.S. Through a collection of characters in various states of posing (spies, sellers of falsified goods, others with secret identities), The Man in the High Castle provides an intriguing tale about life and history as it relates to authentic and manufactured reality. The hour-long dramatic pilot stars Alexa Davalos (Mob City) as Juliana Crain, Luke Kleintank (Pretty Little Liars) as Joe Blake, Rupert Evans (The Village) as Frank Frink, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat Legacy) as Tagomi, Joel De La Fuente (Hemlock Grove) as Inspector Kido, Rufus Sewell (Eleventh Hour) as John Smith and DJ Qualls (Z Nation) as Ed McCarthy. The pilot was directed by David Semel (Madam Secretary, Heroes) and written by Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), both serving as Executive Producers. Also executive producing are Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) and David W. Zucker (The Good Wife), with co-executive producer Jordan Sheehan of Scott Free Productions (The Good Wife, The Andromeda Strain), and Executive Producers Stewart Mackinnon and Christian Baute of Headline Pictures (The Invisible Woman). In addition, Isa Dick Hackett will executive produce and Kalen Egan will co-executive produce on behalf of Electric Shepherd (The Adjustment Bureau). Christopher Tricarico (May in the Summer) is also Executive Producer.
Fans of The Man in the High Castle, and there are many, are curious to see how the series adapts the story from the novel. To provide a comprehensive picture of life in a totalitarian alternate America, the book offers a number of different story threads and characters that aren’t necessarily all that explicitly connected, as well as stories within those stories and a number of themes and devices. It doesn’t lend itself to easy adaptation, but from this description it does sound like they’re trying to keep the larger structure intact, which is something for Dick’s legions of followers to hang onto.
Are you excited about The Man in the High Castle? Are you going to check out the pilot on January 15, or are you going to sit this one out?