Gondry’s First Ubik Draft Due Shortly

Philip K Dick's daughter provides update

Gondry's First Ubik Draft Due Shortly

by Owen Williams |
Published on

We reported back in February that, in a truly beautiful collision of director and material, Michel Gondry is working on a film adaptation of Philip K Dick's **Ubik. We've not heard much since, but in an interview with i09, Dick's daughter and estate-controller Isa Dick Hackett has revealed that Gondry's first draft is due imminently. She also shared some thoughts on working with the Eternal Sunshine director, and on adaptations of her father's work in general.

Some of Dick's stories, like the recent Adjustment Bureau, are fair game for creative twisting and adapting and expanding, Hackett believes: "He wrote forty-plus novels and 125 short stories, and some of them are really precious, and some are perfect for taking other places."

Ubik falls firmly into the former category, in which Hackett also places A Scanner Darkly and The Man In the High Castle (which is currently in development at the BBC). Its bonkers mystery plot involves psychic corporate spies and security firms, and an attack in which our shabby everyman hero Joe Chip (Paul Giamatti please?) and his team find themselves the victims of rapidly accelerating ageing, while time starts to run backwards.

"Getting Ubik adapted has always been a huge passion of mine," says Hackett. "It's taken a long time because it's non-linear and metaphysical, but I love Michel Gondry's work and I think he's a great fit. It's insane: crazy good!" Steve Zaillian is producing, and Hackett believes his is an equally safe pair of hands: "He's a craftsman, so it's great to have him on the team so we don't end up with something that's so non-linear that it can't be understood."

Much like Vincenzo Natali, who talks about Neuromancer elsewhere this morning, Hackett believes it's important that Ubik is kept away from a studio. "We're doing this independently," she insists, "with the goal that we're telling the story that we want to tell. When the script's written we'll take it out and figure out who wants to make that story, 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."

The Adjustment Bureau is out on DVD on July 4.

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