Spirit Award-winner Dee Rees (Pariah) has been set to adapt Martian Time-Slip, Philip K. Dick‘s 1964 sci-fi novel centered on a schizophrenic repairman living in a human colony on Mars. Rees will write the pic as a directorial project for herself with Isa Dick Hackett, daughter of Philip K. Dick, producing for Electric Shepherd Productions. The shingle run by Dick’s children previously produced 2011′s The Adjustment Bureau and is in development on Disney’s animated adaptation King of the Elves, Michel Gondry-helmed Ubik, and Electric Ant to be directed by Marc Forster. Rees is repped by WME and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz. Victoria Cook negotiated the deal on Rees’ behalf with Christopher Tricarico repping the Dick estate and Electric Shepherd.
UPDATE, 6:08 PM: Philip K. Dick’s daughter Laura Leslie issued a statement today about the settlement between her father’s estate and Media Rights Capital. From the sound of it The Adjustment Bureau will not be the last time MRC has a hand in an adaptation of a Dick property. Take a read:
Media Rights Capital (MRC) and the Philip K. Dick Estate have resolved their claims against each other concerning The Adjustment Bureau. The settlement includes the opportunity to work together on future Philip K. Dick Estate properties. “The Estate is pleased to continue our relationship with MRC. MRC’s talent-friendly executives and proven track record of producing high-quality entertainment across multiple platforms make them an ideal partner for us,” said Laura Leslie, Philip K. Dick’s daughter and trustee for the Estate.
PREVIOUSLY, 4:05 PM: EXCLUSIVE: That legal dispute between Media Rights Capital and the Philip K. Dick Estate has been settled over The Adjustment Bureau, the Matt Damon-starrer that George Nolfi wrote and directed. The film was based on the seminal sci-fi author’s short story Adjustment Team, about a man who bristles when he discovers that shadowy men are controlling his destiny. This was one of the more unusual suits to come down the line, with MRC paying some funds to secure the rights, and then finding out the work was in the public domain. Nolfi took out an option a decade …
One day after the Philip K. Dick Testamentary Trust filed their latest Adjustment Bureau suit in state court, defendants Media Rights Capital responded. The company today filed an action in federal court to determine whether “Adjustment Team”, the Dick short story on which the 2011 film was based, is in the public domain or not. (Read the filing here.) This has been a source of contention between the parties since the film was released March 4, 2011. A court ruling could settle any suits over payments and profit participation allegedly due the trust from the film by resolving whether the trust actually had a binding ability to option rights to director George Nolfi back in 2001. “When the Philip K. Dick Trust filed its initial lawsuit in federal court, we looked forward to the court ruling on whether the underlying story to the Adjustment Bureau is in the public domain,” MRC said in a statement released today. “We were disappointed when the trust dropped its lawsuit before the court could reach a decision. The issue remains an important one, so today MRC filed an action in federal court asking the court to rule on the public domain issue. We look forward to a prompt resolution of this issue.”
Philip K. Dick Trust Sues ‘Adjustment Bureau’ Director And Producers Again Over Missed Payments And Closed Books
The trustees to author Philip K. Dick want an adjustment on their fees for The Adjustment Bureau – a rather larger adjustment of more than $500,000. In a 14-page civil case complaint filed today in LA Superior Court, (read the suit here) The Philip K. Dick Testamentary Trust says that director George Nolfi, producer Michael Hackett, Media Rights Capitol and its subsidiaries owe them at least half a million dollars plus fees and other damages “to be proven at trial” from the 2011 film. Citing Breach of Contract and four other claims, the Trust says that the defendants have refused repeated requests to open the accounting books. They also claim they have been shortchanged payments due to them from the film’s net profits and that Nolfi, Hackett and MRC have “demanded the return” of the $1.4 million fee paid in April 2009 for the movie rights.
This suit, filed in state court, comes over two months after the Trustees abandoned a previous federal case against Nolfi and MRC when the judge dismissed key claims citing lack of jurisdiction.
Starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, The Adjustment Bureau, was released on March 4, 2011 to good reviews and fairly strong box office. The movie, according to today’s suit and others, has made around $128 million in global box office as well as $10 million in domestic DVD sales, plus “unknown millions in international DVD sales” as well as TV …
Sony Pictures posted the trailer today for its new version of Total Recall following the spot’s TV debut during the ABC broadcast of the NBA game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat. Based on Philip K. Dick’s short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” and directed by Len Wiseman, it stars Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, John Cho and Bill Nighy.
Following the dismissal of the Philip K. Dick’s lawsuit over The Adjustment Bureau, Media Rights Capital expressed relief and a sense of vindication. In its statement today, MRC said “We could not be happier for our partner George Nolfi now that the lawsuit concerning The Adjustment Bureau, brought by the heirs of the Philip K. Dick estate has been dismissed. George is not only a talented artist, but an individual of the highest integrity and to claim or suggest otherwise is both offensive and completely unwarranted.”
Attorney for Dick’s estate Justin M. Goldstein responded, “The judge’s ruling and our decision to dismiss the remaining portions of the federal case had nothing to do with the merits of any of the claims. The judge only concluded that state court is the appropriate forum for the dispute.”
When the suit was filed in October 2011, the estate alleged MRC was attempting to avoid payments for the rights to use Dick’s story for the movie that starred Matt Damon. Writer-director Nolfi had optioned the story and renewed the option multiple times. MRC eventually paid to exercise the option for more than $1.6 million. MRC then asserted that they had discovered the material was in the public domain and attempted to get their money back. The Dick estate trust then sued MRC.
BREAKING: Attorneys for the estate of iconic science fiction author Philip K. Dick have filed suit in US District Court in California against Media Rights Capital over what it alleges is an attempt to get out of payments for the rights to use Dick’s short story as the basis for the Matt Damon thriller The Adjustment Bureau. The complaint alleges that MRC is using the argument that the material is in the public domain. The heart of the complaint is this: When writer/director George Nolfi optioned the material from the estate in 2001, he agreed to pay $25,000 against a $1 million-$1.85 million purchase price, depending on the film’s budget, as well as 2.5% of net profits.
MRC, which bought the project in 2009 and executed the purchase of the material, paid the estate $1.4 million. The estate believes it is owed more than $500,000 that should have been paid when the film reached break even. Instead, The suit alleges that MRC has breached the contract and tried to slip out of these obligations by challenging the copyright status of the underlying material. Turns out the short story was first published on a science fiction magazine in July, 1954, but the estate claims it was done without the knowledge of the author. The first authorized publication of the material, the estate claims, came in 1973 in a collection of Dick’s stories. The complaint claims MRC concealed it would challenge the copyright …
EXCLUSIVE: After revisiting his classic Alien with the upcoming 3D Fox film Prometheus, Ridley Scott is committing to direct and produce a film that advances his other seminal and groundbreaking science fiction film from the past. Scott has signed on to direct and produce a new installment of Blade Runner. He’ll make the film with Alcon Entertainment, producing with Alcon partners Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove. This would be the most high profile project for Alcon since The Blind Side. They got control of the franchise earlier this year, but it’s a whole different ballgame with Scott at the helm.
I’m not getting a clear sense at this point whether Scott intends to do a sequel or a prequel to the 1982 film that was loosely based on the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Also unclear is whether they start fresh or reach out to Harrison Ford. The original took place in dystopian Los Angeles in 2019, in which organic superhuman robots called replicants escaped and are hiding somewhere on earth. Ford played Richard Deckard, a burnt out blade runner assigned to hunt them down. His tired life gets altered when he himself falls for one of the replicants and struggles to keep her from being destroyed.
The film was not a blockbuster when first released–it grossed $32 million in its original run–but the film has gained esteem over time. From the bleak but breathtaking visuals to the complex storyline and themes of mortality, Blade Runner became a classic. There has periodically been talks of doing a sequel but those never really went anywhere. After injecting state of the art 3D in reviving Alien, imagine what Scott can do with Blade Runner? Now, the filmmaker is ready to engage. Alcon has its output deal with Warner Bros, which remastered and released a 25th anniversary version on DVD and Blu-Ray in 2007. Warner Bros made the original film.
Michel Gondry is adapting and is attached to direct Ubik, the legendary book by scifi author Philip K. Dick. Steve Zaillian and Steve Golin are producing through Film Rites and Anonymous Content, with Golin putting up the financing for development until they shop to studios. (Zaillian’s Film Rites has its first look through DreamWorks, so the project could end up there.) The book was called one of the 100 greatest novels of all-time by Time Magazine. Film Rites’ Garrett Basch will be exec producer. The book is a metaphysical comedy of death and salvation, revolving around dead characters who give business advice, plan their next incarnation, and risk dying once again.
The late author, whose Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep was turned into Blade Runner, next has The Adjustment Bureau coming with George Nolfi directing Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, and a remake of Total Recall in the works with Colin Farrell starring for director Len Wiseman.
He’s producing a new 4-hour miniseries based on Dick’s The Man In The High Castle for the BBC. Howard Brenton, the British playwright who’s also written for Spooks/MI-5, is adapting the Hugo Award-winning novel. Headline Pictures is also producing with Electric Shepherd Productions, the production arm of Philip K Dick’s estate, and Scott’s production company Scott Free. Fremantle Media, which handles The X Factor, will sell the 4 hour-long episodes overseas. Dick’s novel is a science fiction alternate history, depicting a world in which the Axis powers — Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany — triumphed over the Allies in the Second World War. Fremantle is developing the TV miniseries for BBC1.