Alexa Davalos Finds The Man In The High Castle

She'll star in Amazon's Philip K. Dick-based pilot

Alexa Davalos Finds The Man In The High Castle

by Owen Williams |
Published on

The screen adaptation of Philip K. Dick's The Man In The High Castle has had several homes in the last couple of years. First it was supposed to be a four-part series for the BBC. Then it decamped to SyFy. Now it's jostling for attention as one of Amazon's slew of pilot episodes to be voted forward (or not) by viewers. Scott Free (Ridley Scott's company) and Frank Spotnitz remain among the producers, and the first cast members have just been announced. Alexa Davalos will play Juliana Frink, with Luke Kleintank (Bones) as Joe Blake.

Dick's alternate history novel takes place in 1960s America, in a world where the Axis Powers and Japan won the Second World War. Japan runs the Pacific States of America in the West, while the Third Reich have the East. The Midwest is kind of Vichy France in the equation.

Juliana's role in the book is a judo instructor. She starts a relationship with a truck driver who turns out to be a Swiss assassin. She's then dragged into a plot to kill Hawthorne Abendsen, author of the controversial and subversive novel The Grasshopper Lies Heavy.

Deadline's description of the screen version, however, gives us an aikido expert who rebels against the Pacific States when her sister Trudy is murdered in front of her by a Japanese soldier, and goes on the run with a satchel full of vital resistance propaganda. Clearly there's been some considerable adaptation going on to expand Dick's narrative for an open-ended television series. Kleintank's Blake, an all-American resistance fighter, isn't in the book at all. Poor Dick, whose books are frequently adapted so loosely that they've barely been adapted at all.

X-Files veteran Spotnitz has written the pilot's script along with Howard Brenton (Spooks), and David Semel (American Horror Story, The Strain, Hannibal, Hemlock Grove, Legends) will direct. The Man In The High Castle is set to make its streaming debut sometime next year. Whether it carries on into further episodes all depends on the streamers.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us