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Hollywood's Growing Obsession With Philip K. Dick

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the can-we-call-him-pip dept.

Books 244

bowman9991 writes "Even after Blade Runner, A Scanner Darkly, Total Recall, Minority Report, Paycheck, Impostor, and Next, it appears Hollywood's lust for movies based on Philip K. Dick material continues. The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, and Terence Stamp, is the latest, and features some classic Dick themes, including the fragile nature of reality and a fight against a world controlled and manipulated by powerful unseen entities. When Congressman David Norris meets the love of his life after a political defeat, he must peel back the layers of reality to discover why a mysterious group is so desperate to make sure they never meet again. He is up against the agents of fate itself — the men of The Adjustment Bureau. The Adjustment Bureau adaptation follows news that Terry Gilliam will adapt Dick's novel The World Jones Made, that Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said and Ubik are being adapted, and that a remake of Total Recall is being developed by the ironically named Original Films Studio."

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A Few More and Some Musings (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816594)

According to the author's Trust's site [philipkdick.com] , you're missing a few:

"Time Out of Joint" Purchased by Warner Bros.

"Valis", "Radio Free Albemuth", and "Flow My Tears the Policeman Said" Purchased by independent producer John Alan Simon

properties under option: "Adjustment Team" - Short Story, "Ubik" - Novel, "King of the Elves - Short Story

After reading more than a few of PKD's books and short stories really I'm surprised that Hollywood isn't more obsessed with PKD than they are now. In my opinion, the Science Fiction genre is tired and overdone in very predictable ways. PKD's works are often further out there. I realize that A Scanner Darkly was probably not the most well received movie but I would predict that Dick's use of a sort of confusion/resolution while tackling the standard moral/ethical dilemmas that are the hallmark of SciFi would be an easy option to keep movies "fresh." Of course, I've been wondering the same thing about Stanislaw Lem for quite some time. Aside from Solaris he seems to be relegated to fringe movies like Ari Folman's adaptation of Lem's [twitchfilm.net] The Futurological Congress [slashdot.org] .

Recently I finished Chuck Palahniuk's Rant and went searching online for more details as I was generally confused about who was a Historian and who was not at the end of the novel. What I found was that he's making it into a trilogy [pinemagazine.com] and that the rights to his books as movies are generally bought right after he finishes a book. He says:

We’ve had a bunch of negotiations for Rant. It’s going to be the first of three books on the same sort of theme and the movie production people want to see at least outlines on the next two books in the series because nobody wants to buy the rights of the first of three and not be able to control the rights to the second and third books. So I really have to sell Rant as a three-book package. So once I’m able to present those people with a product outline for the next two books, then we’ll sell.

So I'm guessing that Fight Club was such a huge money maker and gained mainstream respect that some of his more gritty novels are now premium movie material? Or perhaps he's not too picky on the size of the sum when his story is about to made into a movie?

There's not a lot of data out there on how much these rights sell for I guess so you can't say whether or not PKD's Trust is just underrating them as pulp scifi and selling them low cost. Combine that possibility with the fact that he's had some huge movies come from his books and I think Hollywood is finally beginning to understand. With Dick you finally have the technology to represent his dreams on screen along with a dearth [philipkdick.com] of stories [philipkdick.com] along with a public tired of your predictable plots along with the possibility that PKD's trust wants PKD to be appreciated on the silver screen. Lord knows that if I was a member of PKD's family I would love to see the young people of today enjoy his works as much as the young people of yesterday did.

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (2, Insightful)

Plunky (929104) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816644)

According to the author's Trust's site, you're missing a few:

So basically, Dick is dead and can't object, and the Trust is monetising his heritage while they still can because the clock is ticking..

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (3, Insightful)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816756)

So basically, Dick is dead and can't object, and the Trust is monetising his heritage while they still can because the clock is ticking..

Considering that old franchises like The Lord of the Rings and even Sherlock Holmes are still making money for their rights holders thanks to copyright extensions, that would be a slow ticking clock.

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (4, Funny)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816918)

Considering that old franchises like The Lord of the Rings and even Sherlock Holmes are still making money for their rights holders thanks to copyright extensions,

Sherlock Holmes? Wasn't he pre-Disney?

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (2, Informative)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817096)

His adventures are available from Project Gutenberg [gutenberg.org] , so I would assume they are safely in the Public Domain by now.

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817776)

Yes and no. [slashdot.org]

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (2, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817394)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died in 1930. Copyright extends crazily 70 years after the death of the author. That means that Sherlock Holmes entered public domain in 2000. Walt Disney died in 1966. Though some of his work were made before the last Sherlock Holmes stories, none of these will become public domain before 2036. Yeah. 2036. At this date, the cartoon that inspired Turing's suicide in 1954 (Snow White) will finally be considered part of history.

Realize that there may be a human settlement on the moon before the cartoons broadcasted before WWII will be public domain.

Realize that we only put a ridiculous proportion of these on digital form and that 99% of them are decaying in analog form. Consider how much cultural heritage is lost for the profit of so few people.

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31816928)

If only your name was DICK what would you do? Would you change it to PENIS? Or just leave it as DICK? Maybe you'd change your first name to NIGGER, so you could be NIGGER DICK legally. Show some clerk your ID and there it is, NIGGER DICK in big black letters. They'll love that.

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (2, Insightful)

Plunky (929104) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817006)

Considering that old franchises like The Lord of the Rings and even Sherlock Holmes are still making money for their rights holders thanks to copyright extensions, that would be a slow ticking clock.

J.R.R.Tolkien died in 1973 so thats just over halfway into the post-death years of life+70, but Arthur Conan Doyle died in 1930 and his works are available at Project Gutenberg [gutenberg.org] now. Philip K Dick died 28 years ago (1982) and he was never as popular as either of them, and is unlikely to get more popular as time goes by. Even 'Blade Runner' is rarely known as anything but a Ridley Scott or Harrison Ford film and that is probably the most well known derivation.

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (2, Interesting)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817024)

Well, *most* of the Sherlock stories are public domain. But thanks to bizzare copyrighting, the characters are still under protection. Web, weave, tangled.

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31816800)

So basically, Dick is dead and can't object, and the Trust is monetising his heritage while they still can because the clock is ticking..

But that clock will never run out. You can bet mickey mouse will ensure leeches like the PKD Trust get to make money off the author's back forever. They'll just complain here and there about minor things, and that'll be what they claim is their creativite input. Dick died in 1982, that's almost a third of a century ago, most of his works are from the 60s and 70s. He obviously isn't going to be creating more works, why the need to keep his works locked up with copyright? Copyright is clearly a tool for corporations.

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (3, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816858)

So basically, Dick is dead and can't object, and the Trust is monetising his heritage while they still can because the clock is ticking..

PKD may be dead but the meme lives on [slashdot.org]

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (5, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816652)

Basically, if you only know the stuff that's been made into movies, then you don't know Dick.

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31816806)

Stopped reading at "classic Dick themes" but I'm pretty sure this article is for perverts..

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (4, Funny)

j-stroy (640921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816886)

Are you insinuating that I'm a "Dick" head?

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (5, Funny)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816938)

Yeah, we here at /. were into Dick before he sold out, and only like, 30 people or something had read his books.

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817408)

Basically, if you only know the stuff that's been made into movies, then you don't know Dick.

But if you have read everything he wrote then you're a Dick-head.

Must Be Monday (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31816718)

... along with a dearth [philipkdick.com] of stories [philipkdick.com]

That should read "along with a wealth of stories."

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816722)

I think you're giving Hollywood way too much credit for caring about the artistic merits of their work. The simple fact is someone made money off a movie based on one of Dick's books, so now everyone that wants a movie made knows if they can say it's based on his work they're much more likely to get funded. The people who bankroll movies love to minimize risk, and at this point Philip K. Dick is a proven winner. What's likely to happen is a string of mediocre to awful films based on his work until the whole thing peters out and filmmakers find some other property they can make several movies from. It's not a coincidence that multiple movies based on a certain type or genre or author tend to come out within a couple of years of each other...it's just filmmakers knowing what's hot at the moment and getting on the gravy train while they can.

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (2, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817040)

Yup... The same thing happened with Michael Crichton [wikipedia.org] in the 90's... Jurrasic Park, Lost World (Although that was REALLY different from the book), Sphere, Congo, Rising Sun and Disclosure... It sort of extended into the 2000's with 2003's Timeline.

Screamers (4, Informative)

m0nstr42 (914269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816770)

Also missed Screamers, based loosely on the short story "Second Variety".

Re:Screamers (1)

I'm not really here (1304615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817404)

That short story was excellent. I will have to look into the Screamers movie. Thanks for the info!

Re:Screamers (1)

m0nstr42 (914269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817582)

Agreed. Most of his short stories are great. The Screamers movie is typical of other PKD adaptations, though. If you can put that aside it's actually decently entertaining early-90's SF schlock.

Re:Screamers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31817780)

I remember when I saw The Terminator, and watched all the way through the end credits waiting for PK Dick's story "Second Variety" to be acknowledged as an inspiration for the movie. I was shocked that Cameron took sole credit for the idea of the machines vs. mankind war and the "second variety" of machine that was indistinguishable from the humans. Of course, the PKD trust didn't sue over the movie, but Harlan Ellison did over the similarities between the Terminator and his old short story "Soldier." At least Ellison won, and now all DVDs of The Terminator include an acknowledgement of the debt Cameron owes to Ellison.

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31816930)

I would seriously like them to try and film Valis. You'd need someone like Terry Gilliam for a mindfuck of that proportion.

No it hasn't (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31816960)

In my opinion, the Science Fiction genre is tired and overdone in very predictable ways.

That's because Gollyweird rarely makes a true science fiction.

Most of their shit and it's mostly shit, are really horror movies set in space - they're really a slasher movie but with an alien doing the slashing - Aliens.

Or they're just a rehash of Terrestrial plots and themes in "space" see Star Wars and Star Trek.

And when they actually do make a movie by a SciFi master, they fuck it up.

Now, Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) [imdb.com] has the ability to do it. Whether the zipper heads in Hollywood will actually make a true science fiction movie is another story. There is hope, though, considering he got the money to do the Rings Trilogy.

The rare good sci fi, such as Primer [imdb.com] hardly gets any promotion.

Re:A Few More and Some Musings (1)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817576)

I'm also surprised Hollywood hasn't latched onto John Brunner, too.

Hollywood's growing obsession with dick (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31816616)

Slashdot's gotten NSFW.

awesome (0, Flamebait)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816618)

The Adjustment Bureau adaptation follows news that Terry Gilliam will adapt Dick's novel The World Jones Made

Woo, Terry Gilliam's in charge? Then we can look forward to a movie 10 years late, substantially overbudget, yet still looks half-done.

Re:awesome (2, Funny)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816676)

But at least it'll have some nifty animation in the middle involving aliens and some effeminate guy saying "you lucky bastard", and maybe a cameo role as a deaf/mute/hunchback type person.

Re:awesome (1)

dskzero (960168) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816730)

Also incredibly confusing, and despite being set in a prairie, it still feels claustrophobic and uncomfortable. Yay!

Re:awesome (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816758)

Woo, Terry Gilliam's in charge? Then we can look forward to a movie 10 years late,

I waited thirty years to see Lord of the Rings. Patience is a virtue.

substantially overbudget,

Why should I care?

yet still looks half-done.

The Gilliam movies I've seen are Time Bandidts, Twelve Monkeys, and Brazil*. I fail to see how any of those movies "look half done."

* not counting the Monty Python movies, but they didn't "look half done" either, except perhaps Holy Grail, shich was supposed to look like it did.

Re:awesome (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816966)

Gilliam's curse is relatively recent. Post-Twelve Monkeys, at least. But lately, his lead actors have a tendency to get ill or die.

Re:awesome (3, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817626)

Baron Munchausen apparently had huge numbers of things go wrong and in the end mostly due to timing it didn't make it into very many cinemas so didn't make much money. I think that's where he got the bad reputation from.
However if you watch it on video it's so good that you just don't care. Apparently it was only "half done" but it doesn't look it, they still had enough footage and enough story to make a fun movie.
Also since Hollywood is always crying crocodile tears about money in case they'll end up paying tax some day, I'm not entirely sure that the loss was a big as reported or even actually a loss. Remember that on paper Forest Gump made a loss despite not costing a lot to make and being incredibly popular - and that paper loss meant not having to pay a percentage of profits to the writer and not having to pay tax.

Matt Damon? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31816638)

Matt Damooon! [wikipedia.org]

Wrong. (2, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816654)

Hollywood has made money off of his material, so they're eager to go back to the well. The good news, thus far at least, is that the material they're using is actually well-written.

Nothing out of the ordinary here, IMO.

Re:Wrong. (2, Informative)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816824)

The source material can be well-written; but then you have directors like Uwe Boll deciding to re-scaffold the story on a different premise, similar to another set of movies that made money 10 years ago, because telling the same story over and over was better. Think Doom (invasion of creatures from Hell) being turned into Resident Evil (retro-virus making creatures from Hell).

The Man in the High Castle (5, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816666)

That's the one I really want to see ! It could become a classic movie, if done correctly.

Re:The Man in the High Castle (2, Insightful)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816868)

if done correctly.

Ah, the biggest problem with book to movie conversions. You can be true to form and simultaneously prosecute all the jews while making them out to be greedy coniving businessmen AND world-wide conspirators. Or you can ignore the multiple plot threads that never intertwine and simply go with one story. Or you can realize that all the characters are simply an excuse to portray a backdrop where Germany won WWII.

And then there's the difficult question of how to end the movie. Self-insertion is tripe and you can't have the climax of the movie hinge on a fortune telling explaining that the world is a. And if you're going to change the ending of the movie, then you're going to have to change a few things leading up to it, and at that point you might as well get a writer to make you something that can be put on the screen.

And shit like this is how we got "Total Recall", which shares about 4 words from the book: "mars" and "inserting false memories".

Dr. Bloodmoney (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817730)

Probably unfilmable, but it might be fun to see the attempt.

Some of P. K. Dick's stuff is great, but how about (5, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816670)

How about some hard sci-fi on the big screen, for a effing change? Honestly, aliens that copulate with black hookers and live in a ghetto, or Dance with the Volves on another Planet just didn't do it, for me. Neither did Total Recall, for that matter. Take some of Stephen Baxter's opus - hopefully not even Hollywood can screw up that!

For me, the epitome of sci-fi filmography was The Andromeda Strain (the original one, of course). Plenty of creativity, yet pretty hard sci-fi (coupled with believable acting/good directing) and no flying thumbs from the bottom of a reactor.

Re:Some of P. K. Dick's stuff is great, but how ab (2, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816750)

Yeah, the Andromeda Strain was awesome! It was also the debut of the great (and sadly late) Michael Crichton on the silver screen, and he has written many entertaining books and movie scripts after that.
I loved the sets they used in the original, the same hallway painted in different colors to indicate another level inside the contained structure... There was definitely some good acting, and the suspense was heightened by the awesome soundtrack... And they left the origin of the strain kinda in the middle (although the new movie had a mildly interesting sci-fi-ish plot with a wormhole from the future... it felt a little too much Star Trek).

Re:Some of P. K. Dick's stuff is great, but how ab (1)

Wolvenhaven (1521217) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816780)

I would love to see a properly and accurately done Night's Dawn Trilogy, unfortunately they would probably turn it into another abortion like the LOTR movies, or the planned rape of The Wheel of TIme that they have been talking about turning into a set of movies.

Re:Some of P. K. Dick's stuff is great, but how ab (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31816964)

Yeah, but we'll have to wait until Hamilton is dead, editors like it when they can unleash their full artistic creative power without being bothered by that guy who wrote the story.

Re:Some of P. K. Dick's stuff is great, but how ab (4, Insightful)

Xelios (822510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816882)

The problem with hard sci-fi is that it appeals to a niche audience only. This used to be ok, but nowadays studios want films to appeal to as broad an audience as possible. Which, incidentally, is also why so many films that could have been amazing end up being pretty terrible. It doesn't help that sci-fi is generally expensive to produce, why spend all that money when the much cheaper standard-relationship-comedy-sequel ends up earning more?

Not to say I wouldn't love to see more sci-fi or cyberpunk films. I'm not sure how you'd compress the Xeelee Sequence into a 2 hour movie (even if it's just a part of it), but I'd kill to see Takeshi Kovacs on the big screen.

Re:Some of P. K. Dick's stuff is great, but how ab (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816992)

This used to be ok, but nowadays studios want films to appeal to as broad an audience as possible. Which, incidentally, is also why so many films that could have been amazing end up being pretty terrible.

Missing the point. The broad audience likes terrible movies. A boy meets girl, with a car chase, as a "screensaver" while the kids text on their cellphones, make out, or eat junk food while baked.

Re:Some of P. K. Dick's stuff is great, but how ab (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31817544)

The broad audience likes terrible movies. A boy meets girl, with a car chase,

But in the Soviet.. Hasbro, the car chases the boy!

Re:Some of P. K. Dick's stuff is great, but how ab (2, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817030)

hopefully not even Hollywood can screw up that!

You underestimate the power of Hollywood.

Re:Some of P. K. Dick's stuff is great, but how ab (2, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817050)

Baxter? Are you kidding? He spends 3 pages describing how to take a shit in an Apollo capsule.

Re:Some of P. K. Dick's stuff is great, but how ab (2, Funny)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817390)

Not as bad as Andy McNab. A chapter and a half of a guy sitting in a bush, shitting in a plastic bag. Thrilling stuff.

Re:Some of P. K. Dick's stuff is great, but how ab (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817498)

The Andromeda Strain(movie), was hideously dry as was the standard for hard science fiction. Maybe it's just from a different era, maybe I have ADD, but all the hard sci-fi I've seen is just long drawn out and dull. Perhaps it's Clark's influence. He's a great man, and his ideas are great, but he just can't write characters. And so I think he set the tone for how a hard sci-fi is supposed to be played.

I don't Understand (1)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816672)

Phillip K Dick, mostly wrote short stories. Some of these movies are very loosely based upon those stories, I don't understand why they are not just writing scripts without association. The only thing I could come up with is they think it has some marketing value.

Re:I don't Understand (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816710)

Phillip K Dick, mostly wrote short stories. Some of these movies are very loosely based upon those stories, I don't understand why they are not just writing scripts without association. The only thing I could come up with is they think it has some marketing value.

It has both marketing value and prevents someone from screaming "They just ripped off XXXXX".

Re:I don't Understand (4, Informative)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816744)

Short stories are OK for movies actually. 2+ hours is actually a short time to squeeze an entire book in.

With many movies you could have a better ending or explanation for things, but it's just not going to fit in 2-3 hours.

Re:I don't Understand (2, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816874)

Many epic stories need to be a series, either TV or movie. T10K was like ... 6 or 7 movies 3 hours long each? That's how you implement an epic story. Or look at BSG, or more loosely, Enterprise. The problem with TV series is they try to resolve microconflicts in one or two episodes; Enterprise was always a favorite of mine because while there was a small storyline in each episode, there were also 5 other things going on at the same time, on-screen.

Short Stories (5, Insightful)

Port1080 (515567) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816696)

Dick's stories are perfect for film adaptation because they tend to be short - either short stories or novellas. His longest novels are still very short compared to most of what gets published today in the sci-fi genre. Short stories are easier to adapt to film - you generally have to cut a lot out of a novel to make it fit into a two hour movie, but short stories translate to a script more easily. Dick's stories also tend to have the kind of plot twists and the potential for action sequences that Hollywood favors, and he's well known and has a fairly big cult following. There are tons and tons of good sci-fi short stories out there, but very few of their authors are as well known as PKD. Combine all that together and they're a natural choice for adaptation.

Looking forward to The World Jones Made (5, Informative)

Prien715 (251944) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816726)

Terry Gilliam is one of the most fantastic individuals in the history of film.

If you're a geek, you know him as a founding member of Monty Python (Patsy in The Holy Grail or Cardinal "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition" Fang). If you're into film, he's done some fantastic dystopian sci-fi films (Brazil, 12 Monkeys). Talk about breadth of talent.

If anyone has what it takes to do Dick well, it's Gilliam (another random piece of trivia: Gilliam was originally chosen by the author to adapt/direct the Harry Potter books. The studios didn't like Rowling's idea and it never happened.)

Re:Looking forward to The World Jones Made (1)

dskzero (960168) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816762)

If you're into films, you will also probably wonder what hasn't he done anything actually good since 12 Monkeys.

Re:Looking forward to The World Jones Made (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817082)

Watch Lost in La Mancha [imdb.com] then.

Re:Looking forward to The World Jones Made (1)

dskzero (960168) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817640)

A documental about a movie that didn't got made?

Re:Looking forward to The World Jones Made (1)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816854)

If anyone has what it takes to do Dick well, it's Gilliam

Wow, 13 minutes & no juvenile responses to that line? Slashdot has been reformed? What's next, KDawson submitting good stories?

Re:Looking forward to The World Jones Made (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817474)

Yes, but he also has notoriously bad luck when it comes to actually getting his movies made. And he's way past his filmmaking prime too (his last few projects have either been abysmal failures or disappointments). He hasn't made a good film since "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and hasn't made a truly brilliant film since "12 Monkeys."

I hope more PKD will get back in to print (1)

wwphx (225607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816776)

because of this. I find the occasional used Dick in stores and the occasional omnibus, but I don't often find PKD at a reasonable price.

Re:I hope more PKD will get back in to print (1)

gweeks (91403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816906)

How about free?
http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/d#a33399 [gutenberg.org]

Re:I hope more PKD will get back in to print (1)

wwphx (225607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817396)

Thank you. I use Gutenberg a lot, I'm looking more for mass market print editions. Plus, I lost my iPod Touch yesterday, which I use for reading ebooks. Yes, I can read it on my laptop, but I refuse to take my laptop to bed with me.

Re:I hope more PKD will get back in to print (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817468)

> I refuse to take my laptop to bed with me. Boy, are you ever on the wrong website ;-)

Re:I hope more PKD will get back in to print (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817588)

>> I refuse to take my laptop to bed with me.
>Boy, are you ever on the wrong website ;-)
Says the guy who forgot to add html breaks...

Inyourendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31816804)

Kinda says something about my love life when all I see of TFS title is Obsession, Growing and Dick.

Why Hollywood is obsessed with .... (5, Insightful)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816820)

Hollywood is obsessed with secret, powerful, out-of-control, quasi-government agencies because Hollywood is a secret, powerful, out-of-control, quasi-government organization. They are obsessed with destroying the finances and lives of thousands of random people in order to obtain and retain control of the cultural and emotional mental frameworks of most people in the developed world.

  This fascination with the themes of Phillip K. Dick is only a reflection of their own neurotic narcissism.

 

Re:Why Hollywood is obsessed with .... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31817534)

Cool story bro.

Newsline - Hollywood Loves Dick (4, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816830)

(sorry I just couldn't miss this opportunity)

Total Recall: I actually enjoyed the original (3, Insightful)

Big Smirk (692056) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816832)

Not because the movie was spectacular. But because of what many (most/all) missed.

When the technicians are putting Quaid under for the vacation implant with the 'secret agent' option - one of the techs chuckles "Mars with a blue sky"

I guess I'll have to read Phillip K Dick's book to see if that was the intention.

Total Recall... or We Can Remember It For You (5, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816970)

"a remake of Total Recall is being developed by the ironically named Original Films Studio."

Wow, mixed feelings at the totally missed opportunity there.

First, Philip K. Dick never wrote a piece called "Total Recall." A few of the major themes from his short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" were grabbed and incorporated into a completely different plot to make the movie "Total Recall," but for the most part, "Total Recall" isn't Phil Dick, and "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" was not made into a movie.

So it seems like there is an opportunity here, to make a movie from the story Dick actually wrote.

Instead, though, for no detectable reason they seen to want to remake "Total Recall." I can't see the slightest reason to do this. It was already a fine film-- for what it was, which is an action-effects extravaganza that incorporated some themes from Dick's work into a Hollywood-plotted film-- and I doubt that that film can be remade better.

Re:Total Recall... or We Can Remember It For You (1)

Jim Robinson Jr. (853390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817180)

Actually.... while PKD may have provided the original thought (I don't know this to be true or false), the move "Total Recall" was an adaptation of a Pier Anthony book by the same name.

Re:Total Recall: I actually enjoyed the original (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31817104)

I caught it. And I stopped reading Piers Anthony's novelization when he inserted a scene at the beginning that made it unquestionably reality (thugs come in and shoot up the complex, looking for Quaid). The movie did a good job leaving it ambiguous. Well, except for the whole killing his real wife thing. I think I'd want my money back if they gave me that memory.

Yes, but... (4, Insightful)

Crash McBang (551190) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816838)

... will they be done in 3D?

Phil Dick Is A Good Writer (1)

SplicerNYC (1782242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816880)

And even enjoyable in a somewhat psychedelic sort of way but Hollywood never quite seems to get it. I've always thought of Dick as a cross between Vonnegut and Bradbury with a tiny bit of Hunter S. Thompson thrown in. Charlie Kaufman could probably write a good script for a Phil Dick movie - he'd get it.

Re:Phil Dick Is A Good Writer (2, Interesting)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817140)

And even enjoyable in a somewhat psychedelic sort of way but Hollywood never quite seems to get it.

You might try the film version of "A Scanner Darkly." Unaccountably, they actually did try to hold to the Phil Dick original, rather than jettisoning the written work to write a different work "based on" the novel.

free ebook with ticket (1, Interesting)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816890)

It would be nice if you paid for a screen adaption, that you got the books too.
Much more that can only be experienced in the books.
PKD is classic.

Re:free ebook with ticket (1)

Big Smirk (692056) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817274)

That's an awesome idea. At least make it available for some nominal charge. (And make the offer again at the end of the movie).

Theaters are always looking for a way to make money - AFAIK they barely break even on the ticket sales and rely mostly on concessions - how about selling something useful.

Re:free ebook with ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31817398)

That's not how the movie industry works. It would less surprise me if you have to play MORE for the ebook version once you have seen the screen adaption.

meh ... call me if they do The Three Stigmata (3, Interesting)

_critic (145603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816904)

The best . . . and hardest to do well . . . in my humble opinion.

Valis would be interesting too.

Better headline (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816922)

Entertainment: Hollywood's Growing Obsession With Philip K. Dick

Would have been a much funnier headline without first and middle names.

Re:Better headline (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31817160)

Hollywood craves Dick

I'm not seeing the complaint I guess... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816978)

Blade Runner, Total Recall, the Minority Report, and Paycheck are all decent flicks. Not mind-bending, probably, but sure as hell not Uwe Boll/Sex in the City/Kung Fu Kid. There's loads of tripe in Hollywood, so 'win, place, or show' makes sense to me. They can't all be effigies, and much of this work is a fine way to idle away a couple hours here and there.

What am I missing?

Re:I'm not seeing the complaint I guess... (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817240)

I never understood the hate for Minority Report. I thought it was fairly well-executed and that the effects mostly helped convey the plot and inherent paranoia, rather than being gratuitous. Sure there were some stupid scenes, like the car factory escape, or the ridiculous vomit baton weapons, but I think it still better than the Hollywood average. Yes, the ending was far too perfectly redemptive, but again I think that the overall plot execution was still above-average.

Spielberg is quoted as saying that MR was absolutely his darkest possible vision of the future. This doesn't speak well to Spielberg's imagination (the case can be made that life is just as bad now), and he did spend too much time trying clumsily to ape the recently-deceased Stanley Kubrick. Nonetheless, the imagery was stunning: the matron with the motile plants; the spider-invasion of the apartment building; and even the almost-cheesy eye surgery scene. I appreciated all of this.

In short, it's a lot like Fifth Element to me: a combination of flaws and merits where the narrative is occasionally compromised by spectacle. Anyway, it's easy for me to deal with the flaws.

Re:I'm not seeing the complaint I guess... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817348)

In short, it's a lot like Fifth Element to me: a combination of flaws and merits where the narrative is occasionally compromised by spectacle. Anyway, it's easy for me to deal with the flaws.

Bingo! That's a perfect comparison for me as well.

writing style (1)

bigdavex (155746) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816986)

I enjoyed the movies Blade Runner and Minority Report, so I tried reading some of the original short stories. I was disappointed. The writing style is uninspired and the characters are underdeveloped. I think this works for the filmmakers, because they are free to take a premise and fill in the details.

The other theme both PKD and Hollywood love is (5, Insightful)

rbrander (73222) | more than 4 years ago | (#31816988)

...predicting the future is the most powerful superpower of all.

Nic Cage was arguably a superhero in Next because seeing 2 minutes into the future let him outmanouver bad guys and walk through machine gun bursts untouched. Seeing an hour into the future let Tom Cruise and the precogs eliminate murder. And seeing a whole day into the future in Paycheck let Ben Affleck save the world.

Even Dick's novels don't feed the need; Push showed Dakota Fanning the most important of a bunch of psychic heroes because the seers are always a step ahead of you.

Not that Dick was way out there with that; it was the most powerful spice-given power in Dune, and even George Lucas makes it a plot-steering device in Star Wars. Just the ability to see a fraction of a second into the future made 9-year-old Anakin a top race driver.

(Funny coincidence: not long after the recent Star Wars movies came out, BBC did a special "Top Gear" about race driving and the host actually took Michael Schumacher into a bar and demonstrated Schumacher was no better than anybody else at the old trick of "catch the bill before I drop it through your fingers". He has the same physical reaction time as anybody else. Top drivers like Schumacher *anticipate* what's coming next - seeing into the future by the ordinary ability of the brain to model the world - and actually start reacting to things before they happen. Lucas is really pretty smart, just not so hot at dialogue.)

Re:The other theme both PKD and Hollywood love is (3, Interesting)

qc_dk (734452) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817648)

(Funny coincidence: not long after the recent Star Wars movies came out, BBC did a special "Top Gear" about race driving and the host actually took Michael Schumacher into a bar and demonstrated Schumacher was no better than anybody else at the old trick of "catch the bill before I drop it through your fingers". He has the same physical reaction time as anybody else. Top drivers like Schumacher *anticipate* what's coming next - seeing into the future by the ordinary ability of the brain to model the world - and actually start reacting to things before they happen. Lucas is really pretty smart, just not so hot at dialogue.)

I'm sure he has better physical reaction time, for things related to racing. He probably has programmed reflexes that are related to the feel of the steering wheel that are much faster than either yours or mine.

I'm a fencer and I can see both(better model, better reflexes) working for me, when fencing beginners. I am better at predicting what people will do. My muscles are faster, and finally I can react faster. The final trick comes from not thinking about a move. If you have to do what Schumacher did in the test (observe,analyse,react) it's clear you are going to be about as fast as anyone else. With enough training you can teach your body to have certain reflexes that are much faster, because the action bypasses parts of the brain. (you can exploit this in fencing because if you discover your opponent has a reflex like this you can trigger it and know his reaction)

This obsession is too late ... (0, Offtopic)

slugmass (1215630) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817004)

to stop the horror that is "Twilight." A literary adaptation in the sense that teenage Facebook postings are learned discourse.

And this is a problem?!? (1)

kaizendojo (956951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817076)

I'd rather see Phillip K.'s work than the current list of "Dicks" writing SciFi scripts lately.

No wonder they love Phillip K. Dick's stories (5, Insightful)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817092)

If you look at Adjustment Team [wikipedia.org] , we see that it is in the public domain.

As is The Variable Man [wikipedia.org] , The Golden Man [wikipedia.org] , The Last of the Masters [wikipedia.org] , Meddler [wikipedia.org] , Shell Game [wikipedia.org] , The Turning Wheel [wikipedia.org] and possibly a number of other stories.

But obviously this just proves, that without never ending copyright claims, the world will never see great art again.

Site slashdotted (1)

brinkie (96643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817124)

Hmmm... it looks like the site has been slashdotted. I only get to see this page: http://sffmedia.com/cgi-sys/suspendedpage.cgi

Did anyone else read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31817232)

"When Congressman Chuck Norris meets the love of his life after a political defeat..."

Re:Did anyone else read (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817492)

Everyone knows that Chuck Norris never gets defeated. He only gets bored, and then starts roundhouse kicking everything.

Valis (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817334)

Film that one if you can! Deeply, deeply strange.

Does this mean we can call any PKD-based movie... (3, Funny)

Tomsk70 (984457) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817594)

....Dickensian?

Ubik yes! Others, maybe (1)

andrewagill (700624) | more than 4 years ago | (#31817858)

I have to say that out of all of PKD's books I've read, the one I thought was most adaptable to film was Ubik. Dick apparently thought the same, since he wrote a screenplay version of it.
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