The Book: Any Philip K. Dick novel
Why it should be adapted:
This is the final installment of the “5 Sci-Fi books that should be adapted” column and I was a little bit stuck on what the last book should be. Call it an editorial writer’s block, if you will. Now, some of you might consider this to be lazy or uncreative, but I stand by this choice. If you were to list some of the best Science Fiction that’s ever been written, some of Philip K.Dick’s novels would likely show up a time or two, at the very least.
It isn’t unprecedented for a Dick novel to be adapted for a movie. Some of the more popular movies that have been a Philip K. Dick novel are Total Recall, Minority Report, Blade Runner, and The Adjustment Bureau. These are just a small handful of movies based on a Philip K. Dick book and the ones that have been made are an even smaller quotient of his books altogether. Many of them great, most of them good, Philip K. Dick is a goldmine of goodness that Hollywood would be remiss in not taking advantage of.
Granted, there’s always the tricky situation of rights to consider, but surely if the Nicholas Cage studded Next is able to get made (which was based on The Golden Man), then I can’t see how his other works wouldn’t get adapted.
A couple good Philip K. Dick novels that Hollywood could take a crack at are:
- We Can Build You- A tale in which an inventor creates a machine version of Abraham Lincoln and attempts to get robot Lincoln sold against his wishes.
- Lies, Inc.–
A synopsis from Goodreads: In this wry, paranoid vision of the future, overpopulation has turned cities into cramed industrial anthills. For those sick of this dystopian reality, one corporation, Trails of Hoffman, Inc., promises an alternative: Take a teleport to Whale’s Mouth, a colonized planet billed as the supreme paradise. The only catch is that you can never comeback. When a neurotic man named Rachmael ben Applebaum discovers that the promotional films of happy crowds cheering their newfound existence on Whale’s Mouth are faked, he decides to pilot a scapeship on the eighteen-year journey there to see if anyone wants to return.
- The Zap Gun– Tell the story of two enemy weapons designers that are forced to cooperate with one another when the world comes under attack by aliens and must make a new weapon to repel them. To make matters worse, a deadly romance ensues between the two, even as they attempt to kill each other.
Any one of these could very easily be compelling cinema and would be better off for it, unless it’s something like Next. Just leave it alone in that case.