Syfy announced today, that they’ve finalized an agreement to adapt Philip K. Dick’s Hugo-award winning novel, The Man in the High Castle, into a 4-hour miniseries.
“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.
“Alternate history stories are part of an amazing and intricate genre of sci-fi,” said Mark Stern, President of Original Content, Syfy and Co-Head, Original Content, Universal Cable Productions. “When done well, there’s nothing better; and I can’t think of better creative talent to bring Philip K. Dick’s fascinating alternate-history thriller to life than Ridley Scott and Frank Spotnitz.”
Electric Shepherd will co-produce along with FremantleMedia International, Headline Pictures and Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions. Ridley Scott and Stewart Mackinnon will produce, using a script by Frank Spotnitz. Spotnitz will also be an executive producer on the project.
The Man in the High Castle is an alternate history tale that shows the world after Nazi Germany and Japan won World War II, taking place in 1962 in occupied America. Fascism dominates, and the few surviving Jews are underground.
The “history” skew starts with the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt in 1933, and leads to American isolationism as the country founders during the Great Depression. With America refusing to enter WWII, the balance is tipped in favor of the Axis Powers. By the time of the story in the book, the Nazis have the hydrogen bomb and are preparing a covert operation to use it against the home islands of the Japanese.
The book weaves together a number of narratives in between each other, providing a picture of life under totalitarian rule. Drawing heavily on the influence of the I Ching, the book also has a novel-within-a-novel that postulates a world in which the Axis lost, FDR honored the two-term limit, and things went very differently for the world.
David Ellender, CEO FremantleMedia International and Kids & Family Entertainment, said, “When we launched our drama initiative we did so with the goal of bringing together the best producers, writers and broadcasters in the world to create the highest quality and most compelling dramas for global audiences. The Man in the High Castle is exactly this and we look forward to bringing it to screens in the US and beyond.”
No director has been announced yet.