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Ridley Scott to Produce Philip K Dick's The Man In the High Castle

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the it's-all-in-your-head dept.

Sci-Fi 144

hawkinspeter (831501) writes Amazon has given the green light to produce the Hugo award-winning "The Man in the High Castle". This is after the four-hour mini-series was rejected by Syfy and afterwards by the BBC. Philip K Dick's novel takes place in an alternate universe where the Axis Powers won the Second World War. It's one of his most successful works, probably due to him actually spending the time to do some editing on it (most of his fiction was produced rapidly in order to get some money). Ridley Scott has previously adapted PKD's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" as the film Blade Runner, so it will be interesting to see how close he keeps to the source material this time. This news has been picked up by a few sites: International Business Times; The Register and Deadline.

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Actually read the book! (1)

storkus (179708) | about 2 months ago | (#47557607)

Can't remember if I got it from a used book store or old public library stock; unlike some of his other stuff, I found this a lot more approachable (maybe because of that editing?). I can see why the BBC might reject it, dealing with Nazis running everything, but syfy? Must require too much thought for them.

Blade Runner is my favorite movie of all time--it and the original Matrix are one of the very few movies I can watch again and again. I love almost everything that Ridley does (maybe YOU hated Prometheus, but I didn't mind) and majorly look forward to this!

Re:Actually read the book! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47557667)

I've read it. It wasn't that interesting. I barely remember what the point of it was other than to be edgy.

Re:Actually read the book! (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 months ago | (#47557669)

I found the book kind of slow going at the beginning, but I really enjoyed the book-within-the-book recursion whereby there's a book written about an alternate reality where the Allies won World War II.

Re:Actually read the book! (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | about 2 months ago | (#47558871)

I read this as part of a "Science Fiction" course in college about 30 years ago. I don't recall much about it except that I really dug the alternate-history aspect of the book.

I hope the movie happens and it turns out good. We need more good science fiction movies, because there haven't been many in the last 20-some years. I liked "Europa Report" but the format was pretty cliched, and the movie was almost the same as "Apollo 18", but less improbable. To be honest, I have a hard time remembering any really good SF movies since "Contact". I never saw the remake of "Solaris", but the original was amazing.

But we need more SF films. Most "SF" films today are just action movies or horror movies in a SFal setting, which is a fine way to do things, but it's not really SF.

Re:Actually read the book! (2)

lgw (121541) | about 2 months ago | (#47559239)

SF is the abbreviation for "real science fiction". SciFi is the abbreviation for action/horror movies with futuristic explosions. Harlan Ellison suggests "skiffy" as the pronunciation of the latter, and some have taken to writing it that way too. I hear Edge of Tomorrow was actually good SF, but I haven't seen it yet - but 1 a year is lucky for SF films.

Plus you have films like Gravity, which wasn't even SciFi, but instead a historical period piece. Remember when we had shuttles, and the will to build vehicles that could launch men into space? Good times; good times.

Re:Actually read the book! (1)

SenatorPerry (46227) | about 2 months ago | (#47557753)

I listened to "Man in the High Castle" a while back. When I got to the end of the book it felt like Audible has messed up and not included the entire contents. Over the next few days I listened to it again to try to understand what special meaning was missing. And nope, it didn't really have any special meaning for me.

Revisionist histories are interesting, but shouldn't get praise because of their nature. In this case it was very interesting to read about the new US. Still, it didn't have any particular meaning that goes much more in depth. Most of the Nazis were as shallow in development as you could find in a Sunday morning History Channel show. The Japanese did seem a little better, but it seemed more like a description of an action scene instead of a complicated reality.

My guess is that it won't get many new fans based on the mini-series unless they substantially adjust the content. Approachable by Dick's standards, but with so many other good books out there it is hard to understand why Amazon would give this book a mini-series. Personally it wouldn't be high on my list of translations to the screen.

Re:Actually read the book! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47558283)

Please don't call this revisionist history. That's a different genre. This is a work of fiction, the revisionists rarely own up to that part of their work.

Re:Actually read the book! (1)

Boronx (228853) | about 2 months ago | (#47558385)

It's not revisionist. The Axis actually won.

Re:Actually read the book! (1)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 2 months ago | (#47558895)

It's not revisionist. The Axis actually won.

Nice!

Re:Actually read the book! (1)

hubie (108345) | about 2 months ago | (#47558205)

I can see why the BBC might reject it, dealing with Nazis running everything, but syfy? Must require too much thought for them.

It might simply be that whatever it was that was pitched to these two networks just wasn't very good (too expensive, bad casting, bad screenplay, etc.). Or maybe they just saw this as a worn-out [memory-alpha.org] meme [memory-alpha.org] .

Re:Actually read the book! (0)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 2 months ago | (#47558369)

Prometheus was a piece of shit.

Everything Wrong With Prometheus In 4 Minutes Or Less
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Aliens was boring as fuck.

I've lost my faith in Riddle to make anything good.

Re:Actually read the book! (0)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47559171)

"Aliens was boring as fuck."
You're opinion on all things movies is now ignored.

Apparently anything that doesn't spoon feed you pointless action for 90 minutes requires to much thinking on your part.

Re:Actually read the book! (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 months ago | (#47559217)

I agree with Prometheus being a big pile of poop, but Alien was superb - it had buckets of claustrophobia and tension. (Aliens was directed by James Cameron, so I assume that you meant Alien).

Re:Actually read the book! (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 2 months ago | (#47559995)

I find everything "Alien", "Aliens", and all the sequels, to be *yawn*.

Re:Actually read the book! (1)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47559771)

I've lost my faith in Riddle to make anything good.

I'm just worried that he'll insist that the protagonist is a replicant or something like he did for Blade Runner, when there really isn't that vibe in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. He admitted in an NPR interview that he never read the book before making that movie, so I don't think that he's qualified to make such declarations.

Re:Actually read the book! (2)

preaction (1526109) | about 2 months ago | (#47560927)

Amen. Deckard had the Voigt-Kampf test performed on him. He is demonstrably _not_ a replicant (if you trust the Voigt-Kampf test, of course).

Re:Actually read the book! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47561239)

I'm just worried that he'll insist that the protagonist is a replicant or something like he did for Blade Runner, when there really isn't that vibe in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Yeah, but in wonderful Dick fashion, he presents a mirror-image reality for Deckard to contemplate...

*** SPOILERS ***
Deckard meets another cop, Resch, who is the sole human working for an agency filled with androids. That is a huge hint that Deckard is the converse.

There's also some doubt that VK is accurate with the new android brain units.

Considering his history... (2, Insightful)

Cragen (697038) | about 2 months ago | (#47557615)

in Blade Runner, he essentially only kept the title character and the title and

in Prometheus, he essentially just re-gurgitated "Alien", what could go wrong?

Re:Considering his history... (3, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 months ago | (#47557729)

Making a movie from a novel is rather hard. They are different experiences, rely on different cues, have different timings and often play to different audiences.

Yes, Blade Runner isn't Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Aliens is just Giger and Dan O'Bannon [wikipedia.org] and bog knows what Prometheus was about aside from Charleze Theron in a tight fitting flight suit, but it will be interesting to see how this turns out.

Beats Transformer movies and the sad fall of Joss Whedon.

Re:Considering his history... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47558057)

Nothing says 'sad fall' like making the best superhero movies of all time.

Re:Considering his history... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 months ago | (#47558165)

If you like superhero movies.

Oh, Joss, why couldn't you have stuck with Westerns?

Re:Considering his history... (4, Insightful)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 2 months ago | (#47558909)

People who reject content based off of arbitrary genre preferences are a burden to themselves and others. I don't believe that prior to Firefly, you would have said, "I'm really wanting another Western." You don't like superheroes you say, and I call bullshit. You just don't want to be lumped in with liking something that's become mainstream. Get over it.

Re:Considering his history... (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | about 2 months ago | (#47560213)

Do you like movies about ponies?

Yeah. I don't really dislike superhero movies, but honestly the constant stream of super avenger-men movies made the whole thing kind of boring. It's like when all games were WW2 FPSes, except worse because Nazis are more interesting than comic book villains.

Re:Considering his history... (1)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 2 months ago | (#47560461)

Do you like movies about ponies?

Yeah. I don't really dislike superhero movies, but honestly the constant stream of super avenger-men movies made the whole thing kind of boring. It's like when all games were WW2 FPSes, except worse because Nazis are more interesting than comic book villains.

I neither like nor dislike movies about ponies. I like good movies. Is there a good movie about ponies? If so, I may watch it. I remember kind of liking "Black Stallion" when we saw it in the theater, but that was no pony. Looking forward to hearing your pony film recommendation.

Re:Considering his history... (1)

Prien715 (251944) | about 2 months ago | (#47560219)

Whedon's quality issue with Avengers is the same one we find with Scott's "Prometheus", Aronofsky's "Noah", or Lucas's "Anal Excretions with Jar Jar Binx".

Too many SFX. I enjoy tech demos as much as the next person, but part of the charm of Firefly was that a low budget forced the team to focus on story, personality, and acting to do what they were trying to do with their special effects. It also forces the creative folk to manage a larger team -- which takes time away from the developing the "soul" of the project.

Re:Considering his history... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47559001)

Look, I'm sorry Firefly is over too. But Joss is producing some great stuff, he's at the top of his game by any measure!

Re:Considering his history... (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 months ago | (#47559259)

I really enjoyed The Cabin in the Woods, but then I'm a big Joss Whedon fan. I even enjoyed Dollhouse (apart from the first 5 or so episodes). Yet to see Much Ado About Nothing, though.

Re:Considering his history... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47560263)

> Yet to see Much Ado About Nothing, though.

It's definitely worth seeing. The dialog is pretty much word-for-word, and we all know the story. It's the performances and directing that really make the film.

It's like... all your favorite people in the world getting together at a garden house to do Shakespeare. Cozy and fun.

Re:Considering his history... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47560135)

He's never done a western.
Post Civil war in space? yes.

Re:Considering his history... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47557761)

Kept the title?

The title of the book is "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" and the movie title is "Bladerunner".

Re:Considering his history... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47557963)

Kept the title?

The title of the book is "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" and the movie title is "Bladerunner".

They bought the title from Alan Nourse, IIRC. Or rather bought the rights to his work so there would be no legal issues over the title (you can't copyright just a title).

Re:Considering his history... (1)

Shortguy881 (2883333) | about 2 months ago | (#47558309)

I'm glad they got Ridley Scott. While he may never fallow the book directly, he offers a new approach to the story, always in a fascinating and visual expansive way.

Different mediums require different approaches and while Philip K Dick is a giant among science fiction writing, Ridley Scott is an artist with the big screen. I am hugely excited to see what he will do with this book.

Re:Considering his history... (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | about 2 months ago | (#47558883)

I know this may be blasphemy for a lot of folks, but I wasn't that impressed with "Do Androids Dream?". I think "Blade Runner" was a superior story, and of course, it's an excellent movie all around. I hope I don't have to turn in my Nerd card now.

Re:Considering his history... (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 2 months ago | (#47559355)

Which version of Blade Runner?

There is the original version, without the noir-style internal monologue, and the director's cut, which has it. It makes a big difference I think. Harrison Ford supposedly was against the monologue, and performed it poorly on purpose. Then Scott / the studio cut the bad monologue from the theatrical release.

Re:Considering his history... (1)

amorsen (7485) | about 2 months ago | (#47559485)

Wrong way around surely: The test audience found the movie confusing and sad and so the internal monologue and the happy ending was added. Later came the director's cut which attempted (unsuccessfully) to outdo 2001: A Space Odyssey for longest CGI scene with nothing happening.

Re:Considering his history... (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 months ago | (#47559639)

There was no CGI in 2001.

That was all done with models and old school special effects.

Re:Considering his history... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47560123)

Evidently for kids today, CGI = SFX. It's all the same to them.

Re:Considering his history... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47560907)

Thankfully Ray Harryhausen wasn't alive to see that comment.

Re:Considering his history... (2)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 months ago | (#47560087)

I don't think it's that controversial a view. There are some nice ideas in the book, but Dick was a bit of a hack, more keen on getting the book out than perfection, and it shows.

Re:Considering his history... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47559139)

Blade Runner was a near masterpiece.
Prometheus was an abortion.

Re:Considering his history... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47560253)

in Blade Runner, he essentially only kept the title character and the title and

in Prometheus, he essentially just re-gurgitated "Alien", what could go wrong?

He could die. Here me out.

Ridley Scott, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg - sort of the A-List ginormous Hollywood sci-fi directors. Ridley is 78 with another Blade Runner project and now this on his plate, sort of like Kubrick was with Eyes Wide Shut and A.I, the second of which he died before he could complete. That was finished by Steven Spielberg. Now I didn't like A.I. but Spielberg also did Close Encounters as well as Raiders of The Lost Ark and a lot of other stuff which I do like. His best by far, IMHO are Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List, WWII Nazi epics. You see where this is going. If he dies, perhaps the best choice for this project will get the chance to complete it, that being Spielberg himself.

Re:Considering his history... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 months ago | (#47561209)

Am I the only one who read "The Man in the High Castle" and thought it was a confusing mess?

Any movie adaptation would have to pare the story line down to its bone.
That could only improve it.

is it me or is it 30 years too late? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47557635)

WW2 is old enough that most people don't care about it by now except to study for the test in school
i don't see this being very popular

Re:is it me or is it 30 years too late? (2, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 months ago | (#47557745)

Not everyone is 14 years old.

Re:is it me or is it 30 years too late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47558325)

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Oh, sorry, I guess that statement is over 100 years old, so it must not be relevant anymore ... (George Santayana, "The Life of Reason - Vol1. Reason in Common Sense" - 1905).

Re:is it me or is it 30 years too late? (1)

Boronx (228853) | about 2 months ago | (#47558401)

Most people don't know the real quote: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it for the next few decades. After that it's all new shit."

Re:is it me or is it 30 years too late? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47559125)

We must learn from our past mistakes, so that we may repeat them precisely.

Those who cannot remember the past... (1)

mmell (832646) | about 2 months ago | (#47558493)

Those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it - usually in summer school.

Re:is it me or is it 30 years too late? (1)

dpilot (134227) | about 2 months ago | (#47559077)

Or the paraphrase, "History repeats itself because nobody listened the first time." (In practice, the singular "first time" is insufficient.)

language of the heart produces good spirits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47557675)

in spite of our altered boys training http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hoisted+on+own+pretard

hymenologists; ixnay on hymen replacements (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47557757)

never needed them to begin with http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hymen+medical+origins monkeys, gargoyles, virgins, little miss dna cannot be wronged,,, creation resolves itself constantly despite our egomaniacal corepirate nazi zion genocidal underpinnings

Blade Runner's script had little to do with Ridley (5, Interesting)

tekrat (242117) | about 2 months ago | (#47557751)

What Ridley Scott brought to the table was an art-director's viewpoint. I believe it was his call that the world be dystopian rather than utopian. Syd Mead was brought in to realize that vision from Ridley's sketches.

Blade Runner was a magical coming-together of quite a few artists while they were at the height of their careers, Scott, Mead, Ford, Hauer hell, even Vangellis never was better. Blade Runner was Scott's attempt to bring back Film Noir in a sci-fi setting -- something that seems common now, but was a radical breakthrough then.

It's a tough act to follow. And as much as I like Ridley's visual style, his latest films have suffered badly from too much money lavished on sets and effects, and not enough on script and acting.

I can also say that, having read "Man in High Castle", that's not an easy book to put to film. It's a huge, complicated story that's not easy to follow. I just hope that they put the work into making the story work, and not gloss over it just to work in explosions and effects.

I had heard that Ridley was interested in Joe Haldeman's "The Forever War" -- not *that's* a movie I want to see. That book blew my mind, and I really, really, really want a good movie of that.

Re:Blade Runner's script had little to do with Rid (1)

Bryan Ischo (893) | about 2 months ago | (#47558249)

Wish I had mod points. Your post is very interesting and insightful and one of the only posts I've ever felt a strong compulsion to mod up.

Re: Blade Runner's script had little to do with Ri (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47558449)

The short story was dystopian. There was so much solar radiation that anyone rich enough had already left Earth to live off planet. The only people left on Earth were people with genetic defects caused by radiation and people too poor to leave.

Re: Blade Runner's script had little to do with Ri (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47559999)

What's dystopian about the Beautiful People leaving in luxury off-planet, safe from harmful radiation, while the ugly rabble is left behind so they won't clutter the Elite's pristine worlds? Nothing at all. Or are you part of the rabble?

Re:Blade Runner's script had little to do with Rid (1)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | about 2 months ago | (#47558587)

...I can also say that, having read "Man in High Castle", that's not an easy book to put to film...

Funny, I've always thought exactly the opposite. When I read it I can visualize the movie scenes in my head, and I almost feel I could write a screenplay from it, even though I've never written one before. I can't think of any other novel that I've had that response to - especially ones written by Dick.

Re:Blade Runner's script had little to do with Rid (2)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 2 months ago | (#47561383)

Phillip K Dick wrote the novel by using the I Ching to randomly create plot points. The I Ching features pre-eminently in the novel.

I'm not sure how well that will translate to the big screen.

Certainly the whole "The Axis Won WW2!" thing will translate over easily, but the book really isn't about that.

Re:Blade Runner's script had little to do with Rid (1)

Kiwikwi (2734467) | about 2 months ago | (#47558647)

I believe it was his call that the world be dystopian rather than utopian.

Well, the book was pretty darn dystopian... (well, it was a Philip K. Dick book). Scott did throw out Fancher's original script, which focused on the envionmental themes of the book, to instead focus on the question of humanity; a good thing too, because it's a much more compelling theme.

Scott, Mead, Ford, Hauer hell, even Vangellis never was better.

Let's not forget the work of primary script writer, David Peoples, who also authored the Clint Eastwood western Unforgiven. Two very different films and yet sharing a surprising number of commonalities.

I can also say that, having read "Man in High Castle", that's not an easy book to put to film.

Then again, neither was Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and yet Blade Runner is an example of a near-perfect adaptation, even if the film, taken literally, retains almost nothing of the original book. (As PKD said, "The two reinforce each other, so that someone who started with the novel would enjoy the movie and someone who started with the movie would enjoy the novel.")

It could work. Although Ridley Scott's later work has been quite uneven, in my opinion. But fingers crossed.

Re:Blade Runner's script had little to do with Rid (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47559145)

Remeber when it was call Tech Noir?
man, Blade Runner is great. For the record I prefer the voice over for that kind of film.

Yeah, it does seem like Ridley seems to suffer a common Hollywood problem: Believing ones own PR.
He's great, has great vision, but he needs detail experts who are also well known in their field.

I understand the issue. When you work with a great team, but it's always your name people mention and talk about it, I see where that could warp your view point after decades. I just wish they would realize this and hire someone to shoot them down, even if it's in private.
Specifically, Hire me :)

Re:Blade Runner's script had little to do with Rid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47559345)

I read the book back in the 70's and was quite impressed. It was the first time I ever encountered alternative history and it still pops up in my mind now and then. I'm always telling my wife that her jewelry has no "woo" and she has no idea what I'm talking about.

Re:Blade Runner's script had little to do with Rid (2)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 2 months ago | (#47559607)

I can also say that, having read "Man in High Castle", that's not an easy book to put to film. It's a huge, complicated story that's not easy to follow. I just hope that they put the work into making the story work, and not gloss over it just to work in explosions and effects.

I think it's my favorite work by Dick, and one of my favorite books period. I would love to see a good film adaptation (and the miniseries format is probably well suited to it). The complicated story (with all of its bizarre, but essential, elements) does pose a challenge. I'm also worried about how Imperial Japan will be handled. Contrary to some other comments here, the Nazis are basically a non-presence in the book, and the relations between the Californian characters and Japanese occupiers are racially fraught. I think there's a risk they might swap Nazi Germany for Imperial Japan, which to my mind would be a huge mistake.

I believe it was [Scott's] call that the world be dystopian rather than utopian.

The book seems pretty dystopian to me, but in retrospect Dick probably wished for things like the emotion controlling device. The Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] makes it sound even more dystopian than I remember. Does your comment only apply to the movie script?

I had heard that Ridley was interested in Joe Haldeman's "The Forever War" -- [now] *that's* a movie I want to see. That book blew my mind, and I really, really, really want a good movie of that.

Yeah, me too. The message has only become more relevant in the decades since the war in Vietnam, and the interlude on crime-ridden future Earth and commentary on human sexuality could resonate with mainstream audiences now. Plus there are plenty of opportunities for explosions and effects in the original story (unlike "High Castle").

Re:Blade Runner's script had little to do with Rid (1)

preaction (1526109) | about 2 months ago | (#47560967)

Having just read The Forever War last week (and then Old Man's War, and now Forever Free), I agree wholeheartedly. That is a book that could do well on-screen (provided it doesn't turn into Starship Troopers).

Re:Blade Runner's script had little to do with Rid (1)

Optic7 (688717) | about 2 months ago | (#47561223)

I watched a documentary about movie art direction and production design, and they had an extended segment about the art design of Blade Runner, interviewing the people involved, etc. One thing that they said that was unusual about the film, and hard to replicate, is that there was some kind of a strike (perhaps writer's guild) around the time that they were pre-producing the film, so they had a much larger amount of time to design and plan the look of the movie than the usual, so they really went to town on it. I think the look of the film shows the extra attention to detail that was given.

Syfylys passes on an actual classic (4, Insightful)

BenJeremy (181303) | about 2 months ago | (#47558049)

This is why you put an executive in charge of a channel that actually likes the genre. Bonnie Hammer only saw SciFi Channel as a stepping stone to a more mainstream network (USA), and installed another idiot who didn't really care for the shows they were peddling when she left.

They should be funding movies based on classics, whenever possible, instead of the crappy creature-of-the-week and pseudo-reality crap they shovel out every week. These days, its possible to deliver quality science fiction programming without busting your budget, too - but somebody at the top has to be motivated to deliver this to the fans (the network's viewer base), rather than dump garbage none of the fan base wants to see in order to draw more "mainstream" viewers.

Re:Syfylys passes on an actual classic (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 months ago | (#47558823)

Hey, Sharknado is a classic.

Re:Syfylys passes on an actual classic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47559353)

I can't waiting for the spinoff Shitenado in 3D.

Re:Syfylys passes on an actual classic (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 2 months ago | (#47559409)

This is why you put an executive in charge of a channel that actually likes the genre. Bonnie Hammer only saw SciFi Channel as a stepping stone to a more mainstream network (USA), and installed another idiot who didn't really care for the shows they were peddling when she left.

This. The fact that Syfy (hate that spelling) passed may actually be a good thing, but I can't really offer a thought on what it means that the BBC passed. Maybe it was a cost issue for them. Syfy's recent track record is not good unless Sharknado and it's ilk are all you are after.

Re:Syfylys passes on an actual classic (5, Interesting)

MrTester (860336) | about 2 months ago | (#47559645)

Hell yes.
They have a couple of good properties now, but for the most part its crap.
And where is the classic SciFi appreciation? Forbidden Planet, Them, The Day the Earth Stood Still (without Neo). When is the last time they showed a black and white program other than Twilight Zone?

If I was in charge of SyFy:
1) Classic movie of the week with a Turner Classic Movies style intro talking about the movie, its impact, roots and the making of the movie.
2) Guest hosts introducing their favorite SciFi
3) Put together a stable of actors, authors and directors and host a weekly 90 minute-3 sketch late night program modeled on Saturday Night Live, but focusing on scifi story telling instead of comedy. Some of the sketches could be one offs, others a mini-series. Probably not live, although that might be fun too...
4) Get some real scifi lovers to look for classic works that they could get the rights to produce as movies. They dont have to be high budget. Take the same budget they spend now on their monster of the week movies, spend less on special effects and throw it at the scripts. I know thats not a lot, but give me a day and $500 and I can improve the hell out of their scripts.
5) No wrestling
6) Change the name back to SciFi

Re:Syfylys passes on an actual classic (1)

BenJeremy (181303) | about 2 months ago | (#47560809)

Exactly. I would do much the same as you.

I suspect there is a large number of science fiction fans that do not watch SyFy any more... they stream or watch the few shows they like from that network through on-demand and forego actually tuning into the network. I don't even know, off-hand, what the channel number is on my cable box.

They get good ratings for wrestling, but it has driven the fans away from the rest of the programming, which suffers because of it, and draws viewers that do not stick around for any other programming. The junk programming they have (Ghost Hunters type shows) is like going to a fine dining establishment to be served hamburger helper - it also drives away the base.

For every decent SyFy show on the air, there are three or four terrible ones. The Wil Wheaton Project is a great show, because he celebrates and respects the fandom, but when I watch it, I'm reminded of all the crap SyFy inflicts as well. At least it gives Wil some fodder to joke about.

Producing, not Directing (3, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#47558099)

Scott's producing the series, not directing. David Semel's actually in the chair. He's directing experience across a lot of serial shows, which bodes well for his ability to respect established characters and storylines. So between the two of them, if nothing else it should be a smooth production.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm078... [imdb.com]

Back then... (3, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 months ago | (#47558153)

From TFS: "[Man in a High Castle is] one of his most successful works"

Back in 1962 (when it was published) maybe... but by the time of my generation of SF readers (coming of age in the late 70's, early 80's) it was largely passed over in favor of Electric Sheep. With WWII much further in the past than when it was published, and the Red Menace having been replaced by MAD... it's foriegn dictatorship wasn't as relevant as the overcrowded overpolluted post apoplyptic dystopia of Sheep was to a generation that was influenced by the social chaos of the late 60's and had lived through the shocks of the early 70's. Stories involving the Nazi's (High Castle, Rocket Ship Galileo, even the (then) more recent Iron Dream) were seen largely as quaint anachronisms not classics. Which, in a large way, is also why Cyberpunk emerges in the same era...

Re:Back then... (1)

Boronx (228853) | about 2 months ago | (#47558417)

Maybe by successful they mean "relatable" or "comprehensible" or something.

Re:Back then... (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 2 months ago | (#47559627)

"High Castle" is widely considered his most masterful work. "Do Androids" is really well-known now, because of the movie adaptation.

Re:Back then... (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 months ago | (#47559679)

His most approachable, mainstream work.

'A Scanner Darkly' is his masterpiece.

Unless you follow his pseudo religious last 3 books.

Re:Back then... (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 2 months ago | (#47559705)

'A Scanner Darkly' is his masterpiece.

Maybe so. I really like some of his less-known stuff, like "Martian Time-Slip" and "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch."

Re:Back then... (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 months ago | (#47559765)

'Confessions of a Crap Artist' is also good. Though a partial retelling of that other one who's name escapes me. The guy who almost wiped out the earth then lived among the survivors.

'Counter Clock World' was interesting, in a 'Martian Time-Slip' kind of way..

I think the 5 volumes of his collected short stories was a good book purchase. Roog was a great short story about an insane dog.

It will be worthless when Hollywood (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47558405)

Jews get their hands on it and turn it into a Holocaustianity propaganda piece trying to remind the world how much we still owe the Jews because of their great suffering despite that event having happened over 60 years ago and ignoring the fact that an equal or greater number of ethnnic Poles, Belarusians, Roma and many others were systematically murdered with the same purpose and intent as the Jews were.

Re:It will be worthless when Hollywood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47558913)

Thanks for reminding us that some people still hate Jews and we need to be wary of you.

Re: It will be worthless when Hollywood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47559185)

Thanks for reminding us that some people will swallow anything set in front of them without question. Pretty screwed up to be force fed an idea to the point where any critical discussion is cosidered persecution and any question considered racist. Beware those who seek to control your thoughts.

Re: It will be worthless when Hollywood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47559793)

That goes double for you, pal.

Wrong way to end (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 months ago | (#47558507)

Ugh, I always hated those stories in which the Axis powers invade America. They never had any plans to do so. Germany wanted a continental empire going East until the Ural mountains. Japan wanted a resource area for itself, and never really figured out where its final objective was (Australia? India? Hawaii?) before the disaster at Midway happened and all plans went on hold. Italy...Mare Nostrum. They just wanted to dominate the Mediterranean.

None of them had any plans involving the U.S. homeland. Hitler foresaw war with the Americans, but not until the 1980s. The Axis powers meeting at the Mississippi River had zero basis in any kind of historical events.

Re:Wrong way to end (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 2 months ago | (#47559691)

Sounds like you haven't read the book, which is not at all one of "those" stories. It is not a "what-if," or at all historically motivated, that's not the point at all. It's about something much deeper, the nature of reality as both objective and external, and as a collective, disjoint hallucination of multiple subjects.

Re:Wrong way to end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47559919)

How else will you get american culture to swallow it? if it is not about how usa liberates everyone then at least usa needs to be the unfairly treated victim.

Re:Wrong way to end (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47560201)

Yet the alternative history in the new Wallenstein games is awesome.

Is this to be an empathy test? (1, Funny)

skaralic (676433) | about 2 months ago | (#47558541)

Capillary dilation of the so-called blush response? Fluctuation of the pupil. Involuntary dilation of the iris...

from a fan (0)

CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) | about 2 months ago | (#47558689)

I enjoyed reading it. I look forward to this

It's not fair (3, Informative)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 2 months ago | (#47558721)

It really sucks that Philip K Dick died at 53, broke, after cranking out 44 novels and 120 short stories. Between Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, Paycheck, and A Scanner Darkly, he deserved to have some financial reward while he was still alive.

Re:It's not fair (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 months ago | (#47559155)

He was batshit for years before death...speed will do that to you.

Read his last three novels (if you can get through them). He would have been happier with a nice piece of carpet fuzz then a million dollars.

Re:It's not fair (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 2 months ago | (#47559245)

Yeah, I was just reading about that on his Wikipedia page. Sci-Fi writers are not known for their mental stability but he seemed particularly out there.

Re:It's not fair (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 months ago | (#47559339)

Incidentally, the Radio Free Albemuth film is almost available (for certain values of available) now. I'm kind of bummed that I paid $70 for the Kickstarter campaign, but as I live in the UK and it hasn't been released here yet, I can't get my hands on a legit copy of it yet. In case you didn't know, Radio Free Albemuth originally started as a sequel to Man in the High Castle, but then ended up becoming a first-draft of what became VALIS.

Re:It's not fair (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 2 months ago | (#47559635)

Dick's struggle with schizophrenia, which you trivialize, did involve drug addiction. You're wrong about his ambitions however - he always craved mainstream popularity for his work.

Re:It's not fair (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 months ago | (#47559823)

You speak as though insanity isn't a predictable outcome of decades of speed use and abuse. I also have limited sympathy for those who cook their livers with booze. No enabling.

I suspect he had gotten over his cravings for popularity when he started writing novels about pink lasers putting thoughts into his head?

Re:It's not fair (0)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47560317)

"You speak as though insanity isn't a predictable outcome of decades of speed use and abuse."
It isn't, and his speed abuse in no way caused his schizophrenia.

Re:It's not fair (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47559191)

Having five wives will do that to you

Still waiting for Ubik (2)

AmIAnAi (975049) | about 2 months ago | (#47558797)

If I had to pick one PKD story to turn into a film it would be Ubik, there were rumours a few years back, but nothing ever came of it.

Re:Still waiting for Ubik (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 months ago | (#47559383)

There's still rumours about that. Michel Gondry has declared that he's "still working" on it. Ubik is supposed to be the most unfilmable of all of PKD's work, but Michel Gondry has a unique style that could work really well (I'm thinking of Eternal Sunshine - definitely not Green Hornet).

The Italians were ... did get New Jersey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47558921)

The Germans and Japanese didn't want it.

Yeah right... (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 2 months ago | (#47559837)

Why don't you fucking release Radio Free Albemuth [imdb.com] first, heh ?!?

Re:Yeah right... (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 months ago | (#47560693)

It is on the very verge of release now. It's been shown in several US cities and is now invading Canada. I'm a backer of the Kickstarter campaign to get it released: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/elizabethkarr/radio-free-albemuth-theatrical-release/posts/ [kickstarter.com] . Hopefully the DVDs and Blu-rays will not be too long away and I'm waiting for a UK release so that I can get my hands on a legit copy.

Somehow I wonder about the actors (0)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 2 months ago | (#47560281)

Imagine the 'glorious Bastards' showing up again ...

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