Movie adaptations of Philip K. Dick stories are a hit and miss proposition. For every Blade Runner or Minority Report you get something like a Next with Nicholas Cage. But a bumpy track record certainly isn’t going to stop people from trying, or at least it hasn’t yet. The latest in the long line of filmmakers looking to bring Dick to the big screen is Pariah director Dee Rees, who is now set to adapt the prolific writer’s 1964 sci-fi novel Martian Time-Slip.
According to Deadline, the Independent Spirit Award-winning Rees will write the script with Dick’s daughter, Isa Dick Hackett, with the intention of directing the film herself. That must be a pretty cool experience, working on adapting a Philip K. Dick novel with his own flesh and blood. Electric Shepherd Productions will handle all of the various producing duties on the project.
Martian Time-Slip tells the story of Jack Bohlen, a schizophrenic repairman who emigrates to Mars with his family in order to run way from his affliction. The novel deals a variety of topics, including issues of mental illness, ideas of time, the dangers of overly powerful centralized bureaucratic governments (this is a Philip K. Dick story we’re talking about), not to mention revenge, time travel, and more.
Martian Time-Slip will mark Rees’ first foray into science fiction. Her feature directorial debut, Pariah, is a quiet indie coming of age story about a young African-American woman coming to terms with her identity as a lesbian. While the two films exist in very, very different worlds—Brooklyn versus Mars—there are some definite thematic similarities for Rees to play with. Identity and trying to find a place in the world will definitely play a big part. If nothing else, she’ll be able to bring a unique perspective to the genre.
This new project joins a large number of Dick adaptations that are currently in the various stages of production. 2011 gave us The Adjustment Bureau, but there is so much more in the works. Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) is in the process of turning Ubik into a film, which seems like an excellent match between source material and filmmaker. World War Z and Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster is directing The Electric Ant, about an organic robot. And Disney is working on an animated version of the short story The King of the Elves.
There is no word on the timeline for Martian Time-Slip, but you can bet that we’ll keep you up to date on the project when there is more to tell.