Keeping a sci-fi legend alive

Posted by David Konow

We recently confirmed that there will be plenty of Philip K. Dick adaptations made in the near future, and its certainly great to see the author's legacy continuing some thirty years after his death.

Dick didn’t even live long enough to see Blade Runner come out, as he  died in 1982 at the age of 54. Considering Blade Runner wasn’t a hit when the film first hit theaters, it’s also too bad he couldn’t hang in there longer to see the impact the franchise had over the next three decades.


 
But thankfully there’s still plenty of Dick properties to make into movies down the road. 45 novels and over 120 short stories actually, and the Dick estate, which goes under the name Electric Shepherd, has set up a deal with Anonymous Content to get more Dick adaptations out there in the world. 
 
Dick may not be a “mega author” like Stephen King or the late Michael Crichton, but according to the Hollywood Reporter, the movies based on Dick’s work have made over a billion dollars world-wide. This includes Total Recall, Minority Report, the Adjustment Bureau, and more.

TG Daily's CB Droege is especially excited about the film adaptation of the Dick short story Ubik, which Droege terms "one of Dick’s most poignant and difficult novels (think Total Recall meets Jonny Mnemonic meets Back to the Future)."

 
You may another master of sci-fi, Richard Matheson, was also trying to set up a number of his short stories and novels as future films, and he had a nice run of late life success with the movie adaptations of I Am Legend and Reel Steel. Matheson is 86, and he’s written many great genre stories like Legend, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Somewhere in Time, as well as many great Twilight Zone episodes like Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, and Little Girl Lost, which was the inspiration for Poltergeist.
 
Matheson’s lived long enough to see three movie versions made of I Am Legend, and he once joked to me it will probably be remade three more times in his life. He’s also hoping to keep going for a while because he wants more control over how his work is adapted, telling Variety, "A good movie is a thing of wonder. When it’s done well, it makes such a big difference."
 
Right before Ray Bradbury passed away at the age of 91, a deal was made with Phoenix Pictures to adapt his novel Dandelion Wine, and it’s great to see so many sci-fi legacies continue like this. With another icon of sci-fi, Rod Serling, there’s also a long in the works Twilight Zone movie at Warner Brothers. Cinema Blend and Vulture recently confirmed the film will be one future length story - a time travel tale - instead of numerous hort stories stitched together.
 
Rod Serling’s widow, Carol Serling, has been genuinely amazed the show’s legacy has lasted this long, and there’s new offers and projects still coming in all the time. But it shouldn’t be that big of a surprise that there’s still plenty of interest and offers in the works of Dick, Matheson, Bradbury and Serling today. A great story is truly eternal.