Philip K. Dick was a paranoid fellow, as demonstrated by his literary output, but one of his most trippy and mind-boggling creations is a book titled Ubik, which can only be described in brief as a satirical, psychedelic predecessor to the likes of Christopher Nolan’s Inception.
Times ranks Ubik as one of the great contemporary English-language novels, and film rights were acquired by the aptly named Celluloid Dreams back in 2008. Now Michel Gondry, arguably the modern-day master of quirky cinema, is planning to bring Dick’s story to the big screen.
Gondry has a handful of projects currently in development, including a hand-animated documentary about Noam Chomsky and an indie flick titled The We and I, which the Green Hornet director plans to start shooting this summer. He informed The Playlist of his plans to eventually adapt Ubik, which is guaranteed to be another non-mainstream effort from Gondry and should thematically (as well as stylistically) resemble his previous films, like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep.
Dick penned Ubik back in 1969 and the book takes place in what was then the future, now an alternate version of 1992, where parapsychology is a part of everyday life and anti-mind-reading security companies attempt to control those who use their telepathic abilities for illicit purposes. The title itself refers to a substance best described as a universal panacea that is meant to be administered via spray can.
Ubik would very much be a twisted but comical sci-fi tale that follows one Joe Chip, an anti-psi technician whose life takes a turn for the weirder after he’s involved in a well-paying job on the Moon that goes horribly wrong. Like Doug Quaid in Total Recall (also based on literature written by Dick), Joe’s existence becomes a collection of increasingly bizarre experiences, and it’s never clear just how much of it is real or hallucination.
It goes without saying that this material is right up Gondry’s alley as a storyteller, and a step in the right direction for those who felt that his eccentric directing style didn’t work well in the Green Hornet movie. There were a number of films released last year that played around with the concept of how an individual’s perspective shapes their view of reality (Inception, Shutter Island, Black Swan, etc.), but Ubik in the hands of Gondry would probably feel very different than any of those pics.
What do think of Gondry adapting Ubik?
Source: The Playlist