Philip K. Dick’s works are the basis for some of the most memorable genre films of our time.
From Blade Runner to Minority Report, from Total Recall to Adjustment Bureau, the films of Philip K. Dick’s novels are odd and classic. While they may not be quite as thought provoking and challenging as the original novels themselves, they are a gold-mine of cultural questions and societal messages.
In the past, the films have been of varied quality, with some becoming touchstones of genre quality, like Blade Runner, and other becoming forgettable depth-flicks with little real value, like Paycheck. This because each film was a completely separate process with the rights being acquired and managed by each a different studio.
This is changing with the creation of Electric Shepherd Productions, a production company serving directly as an arm of the Dick estate, and operating under the estate’s direct control. Electric Shepherd has signed a first-look deal with Anonymous Content to bring more of Dick’s works to the small and silver screen, with more quality control than in the past.
The prolific author penned over a hundred short stories, and nearly 50 novels in his lifetime, with many of them ripe for modern visual adaptation. The studio began working last year already on developing a film adaptation of Ubik, one of Dick's most poignant and difficult novels (think Total Recall meets Jonny Mnemonic meets Back to the Future).
Also in the works are films and television projects adapting Electric Ant, Now Wait for Last Year, The Man in the High Castle, and the sociopathic delusional fantasy tale King of the Elves. A film based on King of the Elves was in development over at Disney 18 months ago, but nothing has been heard about that since, so perhaps it was scrapped.
There is also a sequel to Blade Runner currently in the works, with Ridley Scott in the director’s chair again, but Electric Shepherd has no control of that one because the rights to the story on which Blade Runner is based, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - ironically the story which is the production company’s namesake - currently belongs to Alcon Entertainment.