Michael Gondry reveals plans to direct Philip K. Dick's trippiest novel

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012

Michael Gondry is no stranger to strange concepts—after all, he wrote and directed the mind-bending Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Which has us thinking he's a perfect fit for his newest project—an adaptation of a trippy novel by the most "out there" writer in science fiction, Philip K. Dick.

Gondry let slip during an exhibition of his work at the Pompidou Center that he plans on directing a movie based on Ubik—which isn't isn't a book for those who like their sci-fi neat and tidy.

Just in the first two pages, we learn about "inertials" who block mind-reading, and one character has to consult his dead wife in her moratorium. It gets positively hallucinogenic from there: The main character, Joe Chip, doesn't know who's alive or dead—including himself. Throw in potential alternate realities and time travel, plus a product called Ubik that could save him, and you have the quintessential Dick novel.

Gondry, however, looks like the right man for the job, as he's perfectly at home with movies about unusual realities (such as Eternal Sunshine and The Science of Sleep) ... and not as much with action films, like his most recent movie, The Green Hornet.

As IndieWire writes, it's still not a sealed deal:

It's still early days on this one and it's not the first time the story has been attempted to be brought to the big screen. Back in 2008, Celluloid Dreams optioned the rights to the book for a film that was supposed to lens in 2009 but that never materialized. No word yet if the rights have changed or if Gondry is writing this on spec ...

The novel was loosely adapted as a videogame in 1998, which had Joe Chip train combat squads, but it was not a commercial success.

Ubik was voted one of the best novels of the 20th century by Time magazine. Reviewer Lev Grossman wrote, "From the stuff of space opera, Dick spins a deeply unsettling existential horror story, a nightmare you'll never be sure you've woken up from."

So does that blurb make you want to see a Gondry-directed version more ... or less?

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