Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
Fresh Interstellar Trailer Touches Down
Plus a new featurette about the movie's science...
First Look At Benedict Cumberbatch As Richard III In The Hollow Crown
And Sherlock's Andrew Scott will be King Louis in Henry VI Part 2
Ben Affleck Finds The Accountant
He's in negotiations for an action thriller
New Promo For The Theory Of Everything
Stephen Hawking: The early years
Latest Exodus: Gods And Kings Trailer Arrives
Christian Bale is the chosen one
The Angry Birds Movie Reveals Its Voice Cast
Sudeikis! McBride! Hader! Rudolph! Dinklage! Birds!
Zombieland 2 Gets A New Writer
Ruben Fleischer back on board as director
Miles Teller Talks Fantastic Four
'The tone of this film is completely different from the last one'
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
03 February 2014
Scott Z. Burns May Direct The Professor
He'd also adapt the New York Times article
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
Mood Indigo (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Moneyball (2011)
Empire Star Rating
The Green Hornet (2011)
Empire Star Rating
The Thorn In The Heart (2010)
Empire Star Rating
Be Kind Rewind (2008)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Michel Gondry Abandons Ubik
Philip K. Dick adaptation too difficult to crack

06 May 2014  |  Written by Owen Williams  |  Source: Telerama (via The Playlist)

submit to reddit

Michel Gondry, The Green Hornet

Isa Dick Hackett, custodian of her father Philip K. Dick's estate, called the collision of Dick's work and director Michel Gondry "crazy good". Sadly, however, it's turned out too good to be true. Michel Gondry has abandoned his plans to adapt Ubik, one of Dick's best novels, for the screen.

"The book is brilliant," Gondry told Telerama, "but it's good as a literary work. Having tried to adapt it with several screenwriters... at the moment I don't feel up to doing it. It doesn't have the dramatic structure that would make it a good film. I received a script that disheartened me a bit, and that was it. It was a dream, but in life you can't always have what you want."

It was all looking so promising. First announced three years ago, Ubik had Steve Zaillian aboard as a producer, and Hackett was keen to play up its fierce indie credibility. "When the script's written we'll take it out and figure out who wants to make that story," she insisted, "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."

But that material has clearly proved intractible in its sheer bonkers complexity: it centres on psychic corporate spies and security firms, and an attack in which our shabby Everyman hero Joe Chip (we had our fingers crossed for Paul Giamatti) and his team find themselves the victims of rapidly accelerating ageing, while time starts to run backwards.

Dick himself wrote a screenplay in 1974, which playfully messed around with the form of film itself, but it was never produced. Gondry's version, it seems, has gone the same way, and returns to the ranks of the "unfilmable"... until the next person decides that it isn't after all. "Getting Ubik adapted has always been a huge passion of mine," says Hackett. We may see it yet...

Gondry's Noam Chomsky documentary, Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?, is out in the UK in the near future, followed on August 1 by Mood Indigo with Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris. Watch this space for Empire's own Gondry podcast.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Triumphs At The US Box Office
Spidey starts the summer
First Look At TV's New Constantine
Update: It's going to series

Your Comments

Replace him with Charlie Kaufman
Since Eternal Sunshine contains moments that you might imagine to be similar to those described within Ubik (locations transforming around characters for example) Gondry seemed like a great choice. If he's walking away, then I'd like to see Charlie Kaufman step forward to write and direct. Looking at his previous work on Adaptation, Being John Malkovich, and Synecdoche, New York, I'd dare said he could be the stronger choice! More

Posted by Dom_L at 09:33 on 06 May 2014 | Report This Post

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Hateful Eight - The Story So Far
We delve into the short but tangled history of Quentin Tarantino’s latest

Gallery: Unseen Star Wars Poster Concept Artwork
JW Rinzler takes us through a history of the franchise in jaw-dropping art

The Future Of Film: Lasers Will Save 3D (If Your Cinema Is Big Enough)
Big will be beautiful in the brave new world of frickin' laser beam projection

The Bond Girls Who Made It Big
The actresses who overcame the curse of 007 to forge successful careers

The Future Of Film: A Woman Will Direct Star Wars
No longer a men’s club, Hollywood is going to start opening its doors...

The Empire Podcast #130: Interviews With Rosamund Pike, Lee Child And Antoine Fuqua
The Gone Girl star, Jack Reacher author and The Equalizer director pop in for a chat

The 50 Greatest Voice Performances In Movies
Who has the most talented tonsils in town?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)