Entertainment Weekly has debuted two new images from The Man in the High Castle, Amazon Studios’ adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Hugo Award-winning 1962 novel The Man in the High Castle, which takes place in an alternate history 20th Century where the Allies lost World War II and the globe is now split between German and Japanese rule…
Speaking to EW, executive producer Ridley Scott (whose 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner was based on another Dick tale, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) explained why he wanted to adapt the novel into a TV series:
“I thought it was kind of a really challenging thing to do. I’d seen a film done by a man called Kevin Brownlow. He’s quite an important early filmmaker in England before my time, and he had done a film called It Happened Here, and of course, it was precisely that notion of, “What if they had won, and we’d lost?” And so you suddenly had Piccadilly Circus full of German SS officers walking arm-in-arm with the local girls. It was bizarre to see that, because remember, I’m a bit of a war baby myself. When I lived in up north [in England] at that particular point [after the war], we had German prisoners integrating into the local farms up there, and interestingly enough, not one of them ever wanted to go back to Germany. So I was kind of steeped in it a little bit, because [The Man in the High Castle] happens about 17 years after the war, and so it’s not very many years after, and I always had it in mind. When the time arose, David Zucker [a producer for the series] and I were approached and asked “Would you consider this?” I said, “Absolutely.” It was a natural, an open door, you know?”
Scott also spoke about the challenges of bringing the book to life in ten episodes, stating that: “It’s a hell of a book to break down. There are about 19 stories in the first 20 pages. How do you make that work? How do you get it down to the bottom line? But that was the way that Philip [K. Dick] worked. He was a very complex man with a multi-faceted brain that hopped and skipped everywhere. One of the biggest problems I had in trying to adapt Blade Runner down to its fundamentals was to squeeze it into three hours. And now we’re into 10 45-minute or 50-minute episodes, so you have a lot more space, a lot more area to move around in and tell the story. In a funny kind of way, it’s a perfect ideal density for Philip, so it was a much easier adaptation over 10 episodes than it would be for one movie.”
Based on Philip K. Dick’s Hugo Award-winning 1962 alternative history, The Man in the High Castle considers the question of what would have happened if the Allied Powers had lost World War II. Almost 20 years after that loss, the United States and much of the world has now been split between Japan and Germany, the major hegemonic states. But the tension between these two powers is mounting, and this stress is playing out in the western U.S. Through a collection of characters in various states of posing (spies, sellers of falsified goods, others with secret identities), The Man in the High Castle provides an intriguing tale about life and history as it relates to authentic and manufactured reality.
This Friday, fans attending SDCC will be treated to a special screening of the first two episodes of The Man in the High Castle, while EW will also be streaming them live.