Through a movie darkly

The imminent arrival of Richard Linklater’s version of the classic Philip K Dick novel ‘A Scanner Darkly‘ has gotten a lot of people excited. Me included. A large chunk of my adolescence and beyond was spent reading Dick’s amazing blend of science fiction, deep philosophical and sociological concepts and compelling stories and Scanner was one of my favorites, as my dog eared copy back home will attest. Fingers crossed the final result is worthy of the hype.

Of course I’m also prepared to be sorely disappointed, as Dick’s ideas are hard to translate to the screen without losing a lot of their mental muscle. Even his short stories of 20 or so pages translate easily into full length movies (see Minority Report and Total Recall amongst others) and still lose some of the storie threads.

What I didn’t realise until I read a great article in this month’s Res magazine was that Terry Gilliam, my all time favorite director, had tried to option the book – and Charlie Kaufman, my all time favorite screen writer, had written a script for it. Just imagine the movie that might have been if those two had shared talents…

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