FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHILIP K. DICK’S AWARD-WINNING THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE
TO BE ADAPTED FOR THE BBC
LONDON, OCTOBER 07 2010 - Philip K. Dick’s Hugo Award-winning novel The Man in the High Castle will be adapted for the BBC, it was announced today. Renowned English playwright and screenwriter Howard Brenton (The Churchill Play, Spooks, MI-5) has been hired to turn the novel into a 4 X 60’ miniseries for BBC1. The project will be co-produced by Ridley and Tony Scott’s company Scott Free Films, Headline Pictures, and Electric Shepherd Productions, the production arm for the Philip K. Dick Estate. FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) and BBC are co-developing the project and FME will have international distribution rights.
The Man in the High Castle, a science fiction alternate history novel, depicts a world in which the Axis powers - Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany - triumphed over the Allies in the Second World War. The project marks the first reunion of Ridley Scott with Philip K. Dick material since the iconic and award-winning 1982 film BLADE RUNNER.
Making the announcement Ridley Scott said, “I've been a lifelong fan of Philip K. Dick. He is the master of creating worlds which not only spark the imagination, but offer deeper commentary on the human condition. Howard Brenton is one of Britain's most highly regarded writers, and his skill as a dramatist will surely bring even more depth to Dick's classic. It's a joy and a privilege to be back in Dick's world and to produce his visionary novel The Man in the High Castle with the estate and with Headline Pictures for the BBC and FremantleMedia Enterprises”.
“I’ve loved Philip K. Dick’s powerful and mysterious book since I was a student,” said writer Howard Brenton. “ It is shot through with extraordinarily vivid images and a wicked sense of humour, while its twists of plot continually surprise. Dick’s vision of a frightening future is double-edged, containing within it a message of hope that, in a world gone mad, democratic Western values will in the end prevail. It’s very exciting and a privilege to be asked to adapt this masterpiece for television.”
“Philip K Dick’s The Man in The High Castle is so timely and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to adapt this modern classic with Ridley Scott and Howard Brenton,” said Stewart Mackinnon, founder of Headline Pictures. “Who better to bring this extraordinary and chilling story to a young, international audience”.
“The Man in the High Castle is one of the most highly-regarded and influential novels my father wrote. It’s thrilling to be bringing it to life with such a talented, passionate team, and in a format that can do justice to the full scope of the material,” said Isa Dick Hackett, founder of Electric Shepherd Productions along with her sister Laura Leslie.
FME’s Shane Murphy, Head of Acquisitions & Development, added “This project is very exciting for FME and exemplifies our international drama development strategy to work with the best producers, IP owners and broadcasters to develop the highest quality content for the global market.”
Dick’s works have been the basis for blockbuster movies such as the Ridley Scott directed, BLADE RUNNER (1982), TOTAL RECALL (1990), MINORITY REPORT (1992) and most recently ADJUSTMENT BUREAU starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt to be released in the Spring of 2011. A remake of TOTAL RECALL is in the works at Sony Pictures, and KING OF THE ELVES is currently in development at Walt Disney Animation.
One of the most celebrated authors of the last century, Philip K Dick was published in the Library of America in 2007 and has received literary recognition unprecedented for a contemporary science fiction writer. His more than 40 novels and 125 short stories have been translated into 25 languages.
David Zucker brokered the deal on behalf of Scott Free; Stewart MacKinnon on behalf of Headline Pictures; and Christopher Tricarico on behalf of the Estate of Philip K. Dick and Electric Shepherd.
ABOUT FREMANTLEMEDIA ENTERPRISES & FREMANTLEMEDIA
FremantleMedia is one of the leading creators and producers of entertainment brands in the world. FremantleMedia is part of the RTL Group, Europe's largest television and radio broadcast company, which is in turn 90 percent owned by Bertelsmann AG, one of the world's major media and entertainment companies. FremantleMedia’s worldwide production arm is responsible for many of the world’s highest rated prime time entertainment, drama, serial drama and factual entertainment programmes. FremantleMedia Enterprises is the brand extension arm of FremantleMedia, offering a one-stop-shop for all Licensing, Distribution and Home Entertainment around the world. The FremantleMedia Group (which includes talkbackTHAMES, UFA and Grundy amongst others) has operations in 22 countries, one of the most comprehensive global networks, creating nearly 10,000 hours of programming a year, rolling out more than 60 formats and managing over 300 individual titles. FremantleMedia has some of the world’s most sought after and long running formats in its catalogue, and globally, produces such programmes as: Idols (co-produced with 19 Productions in the US), The X Factor (co-produced with Syco in the UK), Got Talent (co-produced with Syco in the UK and the US), Neighbours, Family Feud, The Price is Right, Farmer Wants A Wife and Hole In The Wall.
Scott Free, Inc., formed in 1995, is the film and television production vehicle of acclaimed film directors, brothers Ridley Scott and Tony Scott. David W. Zucker is President of Scott Free Television and Executive Producer of the Emmy-nominated CBS drama THE GOOD WIFE, starring Julianna Margulies, as well as six impressive seasons of the CBS crime series, NUMB3RS. Scott Free recently produced the stirring 8-hour event drama, Ken Follett's THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH, which aired on STARZ in the U.S. and premieres globally this fall. PILLARS is the latest in a steady stream of Award-winning longform programs including HBO's INTO THE STORM, sequel to the Emmy-winning telefilm, THE GATHERING STORM, A&E's Emmy-nominated mini-series, Michael Crichton's THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN and TNT's epic six-hour spy thriller, THE COMPANY, a Golden Globe nominee, starring Michael Keaton and Alfred Molina, based on the book by Robert Littell. Forthcoming adaptations include Robert Harris' POMPEII for HBO, Robin Cook's COMA for A&E and Philip K. Dick's THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE for the BBC.
On the film side, Ridley Scott's ROBIN HOOD, starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, was released this summer while Tony Scott is currently in post-production on UNSTOPPABLE with Denzel Washington, Chris Pine and Rosario Dawson. Other recent productions include BODY OF LIES, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe directed by Ridley Scott and THE TAKING OF PELLHAM 123 starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta and directed by Tony Scott. The award winning film directed by Ridley Scott, AMERICAN GANGSTER starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, was released in 2007.
His many plays include Christie In Love (Portable Theatre, 1969); Revenge (Theatre Upstairs, 1969); Magnificence (Royal Court Theatre, 1973); The Churchill Play (Nottingham Playhouse, 1974 twice revived by the RSC 1978 and 1988););Weapons Of Happiness (National Theatre, 1976); Epsom Downs (Joint Stock Theatre, 1977); Sore Throats (RSC, 1978); The Romans In Britain (National Theatre, 1980, Sheffield Crucible 2006); Thirteenth Night (RSC, 1981); Bloody Poetry (Foco Novo 1984 and The Royal Court Theatre, 1987); and Pravda with David Hare (National Theatre,1985) Greenland (Royal Court 1988)Berlin Bertie (Royal Court1992; Kit’s Play (RADA Jerwood Theatre, 2000); Paul (National Theatre 2005);In Extremis (Shakespeare’s Globe(2006/7); Never So Good (National Theatre 2008) and Anne Boleyn (Shakespeare’s Globe 2010).
Versions of classic texts include The Life of Galileo (National Theatre, 1980) Danton’s Death (two versions for the National Theatre, 1982 and 2010) and Goethe’s Faust (RSC 1995/6). He adapted Robert Tresell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists(Liverpool Everymand and Chichester Festival Theatre, 2010).
Television work includes thirteen episodes of the first four series of Spooks (201-2005).
Electric Shepherd Productions. LLC
Electric Shepherd Productions, LLC was founded by Laura Leslie and Isa Dick Hackett, daughters of the late science fiction author Philip K Dick. ESP is the production arm of the Dick Estate, dedicated to the stewardship and adaptation of the Philip K. Dick library across all media. Along with their brother Christopher Dick, the daughters have managed the library since Dick’s death in 1982. ESP is currently in development on several other projects based on the works of Philip K. Dick, including the Disney animated feature KING OF THE ELVES and George Nolfi’s THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt.
London-based Stewart Mackinnon and Mark Shivas founded Headline Pictures to produce television drama and feature films for the global market. As well as THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE their television slate includes THE DRIVERS, a 10 part drama series based on the high-octane 24 hour motor race in Le Mans in the 1950s and 60s for Sennet Entertainment and FremantleMedia Enterprises. Their feature film slate includes Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut, QUARTET written by Ronnie Harwood and starring Maggie Smith, Tom Courtney and Albert Finney, the official sequel to PETER PAN for BBC Films and REYKJAVIK, a film about the end of the cold war with Scott Free, Sennet Entertainment and Participant Media.
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