Dream Job
January 26, 2005 7:11 AM   Subscribe

Dream Job. "It's Linklater's faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel A Scanner Darkly, which is being brought to full paranoid life via Bob Sabiston's gloriously surreal software abilities, which, as in the team's previous Waking Life, utilizes hi-def filmmaking overlayed with a rich, rotoscope-inspired animation. Thirty-plus animators, and, here's the catch, so pay attention: They need more." [via]
posted by gsb (43 comments total)
I thought the animation in Waking Life was phenomenal. Add a dash of PKD and this should (hopefully) be a wonderful experience. Thanks for the link.
posted by purephase at 7:30 AM on January 26, 2005

The look is great, but it seems as if the casting was done in 1996.
posted by sourwookie at 7:30 AM on January 26, 2005

I just read Scanner from start to finish on Sunday in anticipation of this movie. I just got hooked on Waking Life and I cannot wait to see a Dick fan make Dick.

So yeah, thanks for the article. Some of those images I hadn't seen.
posted by Eideteker at 7:32 AM on January 26, 2005

Waking Life sucked, it's too bad they're already tainting Scanner with the association.
posted by cmonkey at 7:41 AM on January 26, 2005

Keanu Reeves?! ugh. Thanks for the link, gsb.
posted by shoepal at 7:42 AM on January 26, 2005

Such a great book, I'm glad to see the adaptation is going to be in Linklater and Sabiston's hands. I hadn't seen those images yet, thanks!
posted by safetyfork at 7:42 AM on January 26, 2005

The casting does seem a bit strange (Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Woody Harrelson?) but those images look pretty cool- a cohesive storyline and artwork could supercede any acting lapses.

Slightly OT: Keanu Reeves has worked with some of the world's greatest directors - it's amazing how bad an actor he remains:
Francis Ford Coppola
Kenneth Branagh
Gus Van Sant
Bernardo Bertolucci

and now Richard Linklater.
posted by jeremias at 7:44 AM on January 26, 2005

Correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't this the first time someone has tried to tackle an actual PKD book, not just a short story?

I don't think I'll be able to handle it if this doesn't come out great.
posted by 31d1 at 7:45 AM on January 26, 2005

I have almost no faith that Keanu will pull off such a sophisticated double-role. I was so bummed when I read this casting list. Maybe the amination will help with that. And I thought Waking Life was way overrated.

Having said all that, I'm looking forward to seeing this.
posted by hellbient at 7:46 AM on January 26, 2005

31D1...Bladerunner, the first (and only half-decent) Dick adaptation was from the funnier Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Scanner Darkly was one of Dick's later (stranger) novels. Aside from the casting, this one looks to be good.
posted by kozad at 7:51 AM on January 26, 2005

Considering everyone in the book is high as shit the whole time, to the point where they have a long discussion about how dude got ripped of buying a 10 speed bike cause theres 2 gears in front and 5 gears in back so where's the other 3 gears, I can imagine Keanu putting in an accurate performance.

On preview - I don't consider Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep a full book. Its sems like a longer short shory, a novella at most. It's wierd to see "movie editions" of it padded out into a whole book...

Can we get someone working on VALIS?
posted by 31d1 at 7:57 AM on January 26, 2005

Bladerunner, the first (and only half-decent) Dick adaptation was from the funnier Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

I wouldn't call it an adaptation. It's more of an "inspired by" than anything else, what with the removal of about 90% of the book's substance.
posted by shawnj at 7:59 AM on January 26, 2005

I'm very excited about this.
posted by kyrademon at 8:04 AM on January 26, 2005

Dear god, I miss Austin.

Can't draw for sh*t, but could I snag an interview?
posted by NinjaPirate at 8:04 AM on January 26, 2005

Sounds really interesting. I hope it turns out as good as it promises. Waking Life sucking has nothing to do with this movie, since Waking Life was essentially a animated philosophical dissertation. I assume Scanner will be an actual movie with characters and plot. I assume this movie will be a bit of a cross between the animation of Waking Life and setting of Tape.

Still got a thing for Winona Ryder.
posted by Arch Stanton at 8:07 AM on January 26, 2005

I'm looking forward to this but worried too. Scanner is pretty much plotless and I'm not sure how that will work in a movie. At least they are adapting a novel and not another one of the quickly short stories from the fifties. Total Recall, Minority Report and Paycheck all took a very short tight little stories and padded them out with the same boring Hollywood action movie cliches. Hopefully they won't add car chases and gun fights to Scanner.
posted by octothorpe at 8:07 AM on January 26, 2005

Octothorpe, if there's a director to handle movies without plot, it's Linklater. I enjoy his films, but Before Sunrise/Sunset, Waking Life, Dazed and Confused, SubUrbia, and especially Slacker didn't exactly have complicated plot structures and were still engaging films. Judging by the scale of the film, I would be surprised if there was any padding or much in the way of action.
posted by Arch Stanton at 8:15 AM on January 26, 2005

cmonkey, best to reserve judgment on this one. I've heard "The Abyss" water tentacle was a forerunner for the "Terminator II" stuff, maybe Waking Life was an experiment leading to A Scanner Darkly. I think a bit of 'rotoscoping' in this story would give a nice touch, nothing too excessive I hope.
posted by gsb at 8:28 AM on January 26, 2005

I can't wait...pity I can't draw a straight line.

And Waking Life did not suck.
posted by rushmc at 8:32 AM on January 26, 2005

Charlie Kaufman's (supposedly a big Dick fan - sorry) script (pdf) was scrapped when the project went to Linklater. Apparently Kaufman pretty much stuck to the book. I wonder how Linklater's version will differ.
posted by hellbient at 8:35 AM on January 26, 2005

Here's photos from the set - http://www.philipkdick.com/films_scanner-061204.html

Also, on the PKD main page, it is mentioned that Nicholas Cage (groan factor=Keanu Reeves) will be portraying the main character in an adaptation of the PKD short story "The Golden Man."

GSB - thanks for the post, I just emailed my old comics illustrator acquaintance, Tim Bradstreet, perhaps he'll heed the call for illustrators.
posted by mctsonic at 8:41 AM on January 26, 2005

Yep, it's called Next.
posted by shawnj at 8:52 AM on January 26, 2005

Tim Bradstreet was precicely who I was thinking of when I saw these stills. If anyone can illustrate the worlds of Dick, it's Bradstreet.
posted by shawnj at 8:54 AM on January 26, 2005

kozad, A Scanner Darkly might be from Dick later strange period but it is much funnier than Androids, mainly because there's nothing funny at all about Androids.

31d1, Androids is a 200 page novel, are you thinking of something else?

octothorpe, Screamers and Impostor fitting the padding pattern as well.
posted by ninebelow at 9:24 AM on January 26, 2005

The shots in the article look so nice and clean compared to what was in Waking Life (which looked like somebody used the Photoshop "Cutout" filter on each frame and touched it up a bit). I also hope it doesn't have the distracting jerkiness that the animation in Waking Life did.
posted by zsazsa at 9:29 AM on January 26, 2005

I'm excited about this... I liked the book and I can totally see how the animation style will fit... casting is a bit weird but hey in the end it's animation and I think it might work well.
posted by chaz at 10:18 AM on January 26, 2005

I agree zsazsa, but from the article and the screenshots, it looks like this is going to be a much more "realistic" attempt at rotoscoping. Waking Life, I believe, was intentionally trippy/ nauseating. Plus I don't think Wiley Wiggins is going to be doing any of the animation, which makes me feel a little bit less nauseous already.
posted by Freen at 11:28 AM on January 26, 2005

ninebelow: How' 'bout that bit where sheep are a status symbol so if your electric sheep breaks down you have a robot repair company visit you -- a truck marked "veterinary services" so as to keep up appearances...I dunno, all of his books make me laugh.

BTW, I meant to imply that the book Androids was funnier than the movie Bladerunner. Whether it was funnier than the book Scanner I can't say, having read both books a quarter of a century ago. I would bet, though, that Scanner's humor, given its subject matter, is considerably darker.
posted by kozad at 11:53 AM on January 26, 2005

Heh, I've been looking for a new job. Thanks, gsb.
posted by effwerd at 12:05 PM on January 26, 2005

None of this matters to me. I refuse to see another film with Keanu Reeves. Why does he have to fuck up the movie versions of my favorite Dick book and one of my all time favorite comics? WHY?
posted by eyeballkid at 12:06 PM on January 26, 2005

I love A Scanner Darkly -- it's one of my favorites of PKD's.

I turned off "A Waking Life" halfway through, finding it to be visually ugly and the philosophizing to be insipid.

Throw in Keanu Reeves and I probably won't even see this.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 12:15 PM on January 26, 2005

The 90s called. They want their actors back.
posted by Sparx at 1:14 PM on January 26, 2005

I cannot believe anyone is questioning the casting... when I heard about all the actors involved what struck me was that I couldn't have thought of any better actors to play the characters in that book... We are talking about drugged up hippies here, guys! If you ask me Woody Harrelson, Rory Cochrane, and Winona Ryder all fit the bill perfectly, and Robert Downey Jr is perfect for the part of the paranoid bad-guy asshole Barris. Although I think he is a poor actor, I think he will probably fit this role well. As for Keanu Reeves... he can play bewildered, which face it is what the main character in this book spends most of his time being... after all his brain is falling apart and he is spaced out the whole time... Not sure about the animation, though, would have preferred it on proper film opposed to this, but looks nice. Linklater is pretty good.
posted by mokey at 1:31 PM on January 26, 2005

kozad, that struck me as more tragic than humourous, like the constant subplot about Deckard wanting a real animal and then at the end thinking he'd found a real toad. I take your point about the difference between the book and the film though, the film doesn't even leave open the possibility. And yeah, the humour in A Scanner Darkly is pretty dark.

I'm looking forward to the film: seventh time lucky and all that. Even the casting does pose a problem because the shots on Wiley Wiggins site show that rotoscope has given Keanu a soul.
posted by ninebelow at 2:00 PM on January 26, 2005

i look forward to seeing it - mostly because i was curious about the movie being filmed across the street from where my mom works. she kept rattling off all these names of famous people she and her coworkers had seen, and it sounded like some kind of ocean's 13 reject list.
posted by blendor at 3:11 PM on January 26, 2005

Here in the Dallas area there's a big ad for it in the alt-weekly Observer.

Apparently they need a lot of animators...
posted by First Post at 3:13 PM on January 26, 2005

Waking Life was great, and i'm sure ASD won't have the same flowing style. it was all a dream, remember?

the casting isn't so bad, except for Keanu, and maybe Winona. Robert Downey Jr. is one of the greatest actors of his generation. he and Woody should be great in those roles.

i've been looking forward to this movie for a long time, but my expectations are tempered. there's so much of PKD that can't translate into a film. i'll be very intrigued to see how the movie ends.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:24 PM on January 26, 2005

Robert Downey Jr. is one of the greatest actors of his generation.

Straight from the Robert Downey Jr. press release.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:29 PM on January 26, 2005

and Robert Downey Jr is perfect for the part of the paranoid bad-guy asshole Barris. Although I think he is a poor actor, I think he will probably fit this role well.

Robert Downey Jr., a bad actor? A bad person, quite possibly, but a bad actor?? :::boggle:::
posted by rushmc at 4:45 PM on January 26, 2005

Robert Downey Jr., a bad actor?

Yes. Bad actor. What does he have to his credit worth watching? Chaplin? When is he not Robert Downey Jr. playing Robert Downey Jr? Or is it his fine turns in "Less Than Zero" and "Air America" of which you speak? :::triple boggle:::
posted by eyeballkid at 4:53 PM on January 26, 2005

I'm curious why Keanu Reeves is shouldering a large hunk of anything Cyberpunk - or even vaguely related - that comes out of Hollywood. Is he the new go to guy for that?
I mean even Cagney and Robinson did roles outside their genre, but anything by Gibson or Dick or something experimental or "I don't understand this" - it's call Keanu.
I'm amazed they let Bruce Willis do "Fifth Element."
posted by Smedleyman at 9:05 PM on January 26, 2005

I just watched Waking Life [yeah, I'm behind the times] so I'm looking forward this one!
posted by kamylyon at 9:27 PM on January 26, 2005

As a fan of both SF and movies in general, I'm often stunned at the failure of SF movies. But I'd love to see what Linklater does -- he's more interested in ideas than in action (or plot), and so was PKD.

Though I loved Waking Life, at times it seemed like he was using Sabiston's trippy animation to disguise the fact that this was just a long string of people talking about ideas. (Fine by me!) Maybe that approach, now with "improved" animation, will work well with "Scanner."
posted by CrunchyGods at 8:36 AM on January 27, 2005

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