back to article Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate history' story made into TV series

Ridley Scott has signed on to make Philip K Dick’s Nazis-in-America story The Man in the High Castle for Amazon Studios, according to industry mag Deadline. Blade Runner screenshot Ridley Scott's Blade Runner Scott’s production firm Scott Free and X-Files writer Frank Spotnitz will make the alternate history tale in which the …

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Holmes

Tachovsky would be best for this task. But he's dead.

Very difficult, as typically for PKD, this has less to do with Nazis as with the exploration of "inner space" and the frankly Jungian connections between what we perceive and how that perception seems to alter what is real. There is lots of internal monologue in that story (and the style of that monologue is important), something which can never be rendered on-screen. No, "hard boiled" voice-overs don't work.

Still, I wish success.

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Anonymous Coward

alternate reality??

Corporatist state - check

Perpetual war - check

Rejected ethnic group - check (in USA case Arabic rather than Jewish)

What are we missing?

Anonymous for obvious reasons

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Re: Tachovsky would be best for this task. But he's dead.

Also multiple points-of-view and the book-within-a-book. And being fairly cerebral though the "Nazi's won" aspect will catch the public's attention.

It's been a long while since I read any PKD let alone Man in the High Castle so my memory is probably faulty but I never would have put it down as something you could easily make into the visual form.

Might have been easier to start with Eye in the Sky?

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Re: alternate reality??

"What are we missing?"

Suborbital airliners?

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Re: Tachovsky would be best for this task. But he's dead.

My default setting when hearing of Philip K Dick adaptation is, 'How will they fuck it up this time?' At least 'Flow My Tears' remains so far unsullied. Best yet? My vote goes to 'Through a Scanner Darkly'. My nightmare would be any coupling of the names Michael Bay, Gerald Butler, and Palmer K Eldritch

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Coat

Re: Tachovsky would be best for this task. But he's dead.

"Scanner" is definitely the closest adaptation of a book, and not the easiest book to film. And it has the advantage that it looks amazing too.

I was disappointed that the remake of "Total Recall" wasn't actually a make (?) of "We Can Remember it for you Wholesale" which is an intriguing story in its own right.

Actually, the best PKD adaptation that I have seen recently was "Oblivion"*

*yes, I am aware that it is not a PKD movie. It just feels like one.

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Re: alternate reality??

I'd say that while the US has a greater diversity, almost all countries have the same problem.

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Joke

Re: alternate reality??

"Suborbital airliners?"

Well, we ain't got orbital airliners so what's left must all be suborbital ones.

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Re: Tachovsky would be best for this task. But he's dead.

How's about Richard Linklater? His version of A Scanner Darkly certainly shows that he could bring innovation to such a project.

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Re: Tachovsky would be best for this task. But he's dead.

Did you mean Andrei Tarkovsky (Solaris, Stalker)? Actually, I thought it was his cinematographer, Vadim Yusov, who was the superior image-maker. Wasn't really impressed by Andrei Arsenyevich himself.

But if you're talking inner-space, puzzles within puzzles and general chaos, then you can't go past Terry Gilliam. My fav director for this sort of thing by far.

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Re: Tachovsky would be best for this task. But he's dead.

Internal monologue can work. Watch Dexter.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0773262/?ref_=nv_sr_1

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There was no Total Recall remake

It was all in your mind.

If you would like to lie down here, normality will be resumed in a few moments.

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Re: alternate reality??

"What are we missing?"

The irony of the giant Amazon corporation taking on the role of the Wyndam-Matson Corporation.

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Re: alternate reality??

Ooh, aren't we the clever one, ballistic trajectories is the intended meaning. Have you had a flight on a ballistic trajectory lately?

From what I hear, until Branson gets his overpriced fun-fair ride off the ground, cheapest way is in a high-altitude fighter in Russia.

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Re: alternate reality??

That would be exactly the reason why Scott Ridley would be interested in doing this.

The Nuremberg court records where Nazi war criminals were sentenced show that all the I.G. Farben executives got their multi-year to life sentences commuted after just one or two years and - wonder of wonders, mostly got flown out to the USA, where many of them hold high positions in large corporations.

Hitler's top lawyer - (who carried out the I.G. Farben's number 1 priority to institute a new patent law in all occupied territories, before any other changes to local laws) - later became the founding Architect of the modern EU, actively shaping it for its first 10 years.

Thanks to the German's pedantic record keeping, you can also find in Nuremberg documents proving, that most concentration camp inmates didn't die in the camps, but were sold in bulk to I.G. Auschwitz (the largest industrial complex of its time) for "scientific tests", involving new medications, poison gas and other new weapons developments.

German Concentration camps also saw the first case of putting fluoride into drinking water - effective at keeping prisoners docile and, at sufficient doses sterilization of inmates.

German Chancellor Kohl was the offspring of an I.G. Farben executive - and the long time patron of current Chancellor Merkel.

On the day after the Nazis burned down and destroyed the German Parliament, the I.G. Farben transferred 500,000 Reichsmark to Hitler.

Nothing changed, except the language used in the news papers.

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Finally?

In 2010 they were talking about Scott making it for the BBC

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2010/oct/07/ridley-scott-sci-fi-philip-k-dick-bbc-drama

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Here's more hoping...

Let's hope it's more 'Blade Runner' than 'PayCheck'

I know Ridley did Blade Runner, but then again he also did Prometheus)

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Re: Here's more hoping...

Blade Runner was a good film, but not much like the book though.

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Stop

Re: Here's more hoping...

I know Ridley did Blade Runner, but then again he also did Prometheus

Prometheus wasn't a bad film at all. Stop whining.

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Re: Here's more hoping...

They won't like it cus Ridley refused to reguritate his own product like a vomiting pig.. and there were hardly any guns... they don't like that either.

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Re: Prometheus wasn't a bad film at all. Stop whining.

Yes it was. Whining not only permitted, but approved.

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Re: Prometheus wasn't a bad film at all. Stop whining.

Prometheus is a pile of really great effects, sets, scenes and some reasonable acting all desperately searching for a plot which makes sense.

This is the best summary of Prometheus I've seen yet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x1YuvUQFJ0

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Re: not much like the book though.

Part of it were, parts of it weren't. Most of the adaptions made sense for a movie. Except for the ending.* Unfortunately, that sort of invalidated everything they did right. So you earned an up vote.

*Yes, you can argue you have to put a happy ending on a Hollywood movie so it would fall under my "adaptions made sense" waiver, but given the ending was sort of the point of the whole book, no.

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Sounds like Wolfenstein: The New Order

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Wouldn't be surprised if the success of the game made people sit up and look around for similar plots.

I'd also guess that creating a film based of a game doesn't sound as good as creating a film based off a book, especially when its from an author such as Philip K Dick.

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Man in the High Castle is nothing like Wolfenstein. Nazis are not the important fact about that book, the reporter just Godwined himself for cheap clicks.

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Anonymous Coward

Indeed, the main threads I can see running through the book are (1) the thought processes of the the Germans and Japanese and (2) the nested alternative history - whereby in an alternative history where the Axis won, there is a book/movement discussing what might have been had the Allies won.

Neither really lend themselves to set piece films.

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But weren't we given two hints in the book that the Allies actually won. The first was when the Japanese character, Mr Tagomi, was looking intently at the silver peice of jewelry and the second when Admunsen mentioned that the Gestapo had ceased to exist after 1947.

The second one may be due to renaming of the verious Nazi groups but the first one where Tagomi saw the hideous looking freeway, a lack of pedalcabs and no American would give up his seat for him.

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Anonymous Coward

Could be even more effective on film

The problem with Tagomi's brief crossover into the (other) reality where the Allies won is that the differences are so subtle, and the episode is over so quickly. PKD does a terrific job of making us share Togami's disoriented state. It could actually be even more effective when portrayed visually, because the audience won't have the time to absorb what was happening the way you might when reading it (well, many readers -- I personally was left pretty confused until I re-read the scene again).

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Anonymous Coward

I thought that we were already living in that reality with the left "we want to control every part of your lives" wing Euro state we live in. Not forgetting of course the left wing mantra that under no circumstances should any Jewish state be allowed to defend itself.

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Thumb Down

under no circumstances should any Jewish state be allowed to defend itself

...Dragging pro-cleaning operations via mechanized armies by ultranationalist religious nutcases into a discussion about PKD

...Being that kind of an asshat

His brothers had been killed in ‘44, strangled with wire by British commandos, the Long Range Desert Group which had operated behind Axis lines and which had become especially fanatic during the last phases of the war when it was clear that the Allies could not win.

“How do you feel about the British now?” she asked haltingly.

Joe said, “I’d like to see them do to England what they did in Africa.” His tone was flat.

“But it’s been—eighteen years,” Juliana said. “I know the British especially did terrible things. But—”

“They talk about the things the Nazis did to the Jews,” Joe said. “The British have done worse. In the Battle of London.” He became silent. “Those fire weapons, phosphorus and oil; I saw a few of the German troops, afterward. Boat after boat burned to a cinder. Those pipes under the water—turned the sea to fire. And on civilian populations, by those mass fire-bombing raids that Churchill thought were going to save the war at the last moment. Those terror attacks on Hamburg and Essen and—”

“Let’s not talk about it,” Juliana said. In the kitchen, she started cooking bacon; she turned on the small white plastic Emerson radio which Frank had given her on her birthday. “I’ll fix you something to eat.” She dialed, trying to find some light, pleasant music.

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"We want to control every part of your lives," and "No Jewish state should be allowed to defend itself"?

Doesn't sound left-wing at all, to me. Unless you consider the Nazis liberals, that is...

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Boffin

@ Mr Moyle. I think...

...you don't get out or read enough.

Anti semitism? See Stalin. See Beria. See Ulbricht. See Honecker

Control every aspect of your lives? See all of the above.

Don't recall any of those wearing belts with "Gott mit uns" on it.

And no, I'm not Jewish.

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I'd go along with you but

I only agree with your first point.

Your second is odd at best.

Both are completely off-topic.

I must watch Prometheus at some stage, sounds pretty stupid, but I am an effects fan, small-time maker at times, missed my vocation.

Am quite sure that Scott will f*** this up completely, since he is not a reader, and his scriptwriters will be intent on imposing their own orthodox and cretinous visions, you, current anonymous coward, are doing a very good job of suggesting a possible very propagandistic twist.

Mr. Nagomi will become a cameo for someone, everyone in fictionality will be subject to a reality shift like Mr. Dick was so deft at depicting.

I didn't leave the cinema during Stargate, felt like it, but the angle was pretty obvious (and I loved the small scenes that brought the gods of ancient Egypt to life).

You may consider changing your user name from anonymous coward to keen user of Internet megaphone?

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Shame...

...it's on Amazon. I closed my account as I no longer wish to do business with them. I can see now how dystopian futures can come into being -- it can become too inconvenient to protest or the public can become too complacent. I'm drawing a line here and will live with the inconvenience.

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Flame

inconvenience?

Torrenting is still more convenient

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africa

and I wonder if they'll cover what happened in Africa ?

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Re: africa

No-one talks about what happened in Africa.

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Guns

...tells the story of American life under Fascist rule while the Axis Powers

I suppose for a foreign power to occupy the US would not be easy given that the general population is armed.

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Trollface

Re: Guns

And more right-wing than the occupiers ...

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Terminator

Re: Guns

I fail to see the relevance of an armed population to stopping a totalitarian occupier.

Half of those armed would welcome the occupiers anyway because they would help them combat whichever "other group" they disliked - Jewish, gay, liberals, atheists, left wing or whatever. The Nazis always found collaborators and they were often those who considered themselves superior to the rest - pretty much like conservatives and elites feel today.

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Re: Guns

...Jewish ...gay, liberals,... Nazis... elites......etc

Lol. A top quality rant. Fact-free, prejudice packed, explosive delivery. Complete with obligatory Nazi comparison.

March 12, 1989 - Tim Berners-Lee switches on the first web site

March 13, 1989 - Cern scientists go online, disagree about something, call each other "Nazis"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Guns

Any resistance by that "general population" armed with military small arm look-alikes would crumble as soon as they were fired on by real weapons, like 155mm artillery or MRLs. One big difference between the civilian populations in the US and Europe during the Second World War is that the latter actually experienced the devastation of modern heavy weapons first hand, while by and large the former did not. General audiences are going to find PKD's conception of a post war America that looks and feels so much like occupied Vichy France to be disturbing.

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Only in the Hollywood version

The Americans win

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Re: Only in the Hollywood version

SPOILER ALERT (although this is actually printed on the back cover of some editions of the book).

In reality, the Allies *did* win.

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Re: Only in the Hollywood version

Technically, the British Empire won...

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Re: In reality, the Allies *did* win.

Are you sure? Wherever I look I see socialists. About half of them are International Socialists and the other half are National Socialists. But they all grow from the same corrupt root and lie about their roots being on the left instead of the right.

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Amazon makes TV series about dystopian future?

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Anonymous Coward

The US seems to be desperate to portray Germany in a bad light at the moment; Watch the US news, listen to what the US politicians are saying and you'll see an awful lot of hate toward Germany at the moment, and an exceptionally unhealthy veracity in the use of the word Blitzkrieg.

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A bit of a consolation...

It's not that the US doesn't like Germans, it's simply that Germany has not yet fallen in line with the orders for the Cold War II with Russia, at least not enthusiastically enough.

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