The Total Recall remake is almost upon us; Ridley Scott is developing some sort of new Blade Runner; the BBC are building The Man In The High Castle; Disney are prepping King Of The Elves; and most excitingly of all, Michel Gondry is at work on Ubik. But there's now yet another adaptation of Philip K. Dick's work in the pipeline, with Dick's daughter Isa Dick Hackett and Lord Of The Rings producer Barrie M. Osborne putting together a package based on the 1966 novel Now Wait For Last Year.
In a nutshell far too small for the job, Now Wait For Last Year is about an organ transplant doctor, Eric Sweetscent, who gets involved in interstellar politics between Earth and the inhabitants of the planet Lilistar, who are at war with another alien society called The Reegs. Earth has been supporting Lilistar, but it soon becomes clear that we're on the wrong side.
Along the way the novel introduces us to Sweetscent's accidentally time-travelling wife, addicted to a mad hallucinogenic drug, and employed by Lilistar to spy on her husband. Then there's 'The Mole', who absorbs the illnesses of anyone he's standing near, but can handle it because he's immortal. There's a company that makes synthetic furs using a type of alien amoeba. And there's a philosophically argumentative taxi cab that has an important role to play in the proceedings.
Typically crazy Dick material, in other words, which should benefit greatly from Hackett's policy of developing projects fully before they're taken out to studios. "When the script's written we'll take it out and figure out who wants to make that story", she explained of Ubik in the summer, "as opposed to doing development with a studio and having them tell us what story we're going to tell. For me, the biggest failure would be a film that was just devoid of the real message from the material."
Osborne and Hackett will produce through Hackett's Electric Shepherd production company, in conjunction with Cameron Lamb and his Lila 9th banner, which is behind Daydream Nation and the upcoming Syrup. Ted Kupper (who according to the two IMDb possibilities either has a background in sound or animation, unless he's another Ted Kupper entirely) is writing the screenplay. Hackett and her cohorts are currently looking for a director, for a projected shoot towards the end of 2012. Which means we must now wait for next year.
Incidentally, Michael Sheen presented rather a good programme about Philip K. Dick on Radio 4 yesterday...