Ridley Scott bringing Philip K. Dick's Man in the High Castle to TV at Amazon

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Jul 25, 2014, 10:17 AM EDT

Ridley Scott and one of the main minds behind X-Files has signed on to develop an award-winning Philip K. Dick alt-history sci-fi novel for the small screen.

Deadline reports Frank Spotnitz, a longtime X-Files producer, is writing the pilot script for a potential series based on Dick’s Hugo Award-winning novel The Man in the High Castle. The project will be directed by David Semel (Legends). Ridley Scott’s (Blade Runner) company is producing, and Scott noted the book is one of Dick’s “most imaginative and captivating works.”

The 1962 novel is set in an alternate reality where Nazi Germany and Japan won World War II and have occupied the United States. The nation has been divided up, with the Nazis running the East Coast while the Japanese have taken control of the West Coast — while the Midwest is still wide open. So what’s up with the U.S.? The remaining resistance is scattered and on the run, which is the perfect setup for one insanely ambitious story.

If this project sounds familiar, it's because it has been kicking around in development since 2010, when it was set up at Syfy as a four-hour miniseries in 2013 after bouncing over from BBC. The cable net has apparently passed, and now the project has swung over to Amazon. Here’s hoping they’ve worked out whatever kinks led the BBC and Syfy to pass, and the pilot does Dick’s novel justice.

Scott and Spotnitz’s participation is a good sign, but Amazon has a mixed record when it comes to science fiction. The service's largely panned Zombieland pilot failed to garner a pickup, and many people noted Chris Carter’s new series The After looked a bit low-budget in its pilot released earlier this year.

Do you think The Man in the High Castle will be worth checking out once it finally arrives?

(Via Deadline)