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.
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.”
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.
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.