Disney recently announced that it has begun pre-production on an adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story.
Dick’s novels and short stories are usually full of drugs, violence, sexual deviance, and other adult situations, so it’s rather odd to hear that one of his tales has been picked up by Disney.
Still, as you may recall, the adaptation of King of the Elves was originally announced in 2009, but had since gotten off track. Just a few days ago, Disney confirmed that a writer has been hired, with work beginning on the script. It also has a director, Chris Williams, who you might remember from the director’s chair of the excellent, but underappreciated, Bolt a few years ago.
To be fair, King of the Elves is one of Dick's more tame stories. It depicts an addled old man who is sought out by a community of elves for shelter and assistance.
When their king dies in the night, they name the old man their new king. Now the leader of this band of tiny people, the old man must help them fight their war against the trolls. When he discovers his best friend in town is the king of the trolls, he fights a protracted battle alongside his new subjects.
Of course, the story I got when I first read it, was that the old man was completely conkers, and this was the tale of him flipping out and killing the people of the town because he thought that little elves were telling him to do it. Yet, I doubt there will be any such connotations in the Disney version.
Philip K. Dick has undoubtedly been popular lately. There has always been a place for his stories in popular media, but in addition to King of the Elves, there are some old rumors that Ridley Scott might be working on an adaptation of Man in the High Castle for the BBC, and we know that a new version of We Can Remember it for You Wholesale (AKA Total Recall) is currently filming.
The Blade Runner license, based on the Dick story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is seeing some activity, though we don’t know what form it will take yet, and just earlier this year, Universal released The Adjustment Bureau based on Dick’s Adjustment Team.
King of the Elves is currently planned for a Holiday 2012 release.