The acclaimed literary works of science-fiction visionary Phillip K. Dick has been inspiring Hollywood for decades. Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, Paycheck, A Scanner Darkly, Next, The Adjustment Bureau and more have all come from stories he penned. Due to Dick’s layered storytelling and big ideas though, several of his works have often been thought of as unfilmable and one such tale was The Man in the High Castle.
Set in an alternate history 1960’s in which the Axis won World War II and not the Allies, High Castle follows a cast of characters who are all linked by an in-story piece of alternate history “fiction” in which the Allies won World War II instead. It’s very meta and often a bit heady, which is why it came as such a big surprise when Amazon not only chose to adapt it as one of the offerings in its Pilot Season – in which people could watch the pilot episode of possible new shows and vote on which TV series should be developed – but ended up doing a damn fine job of it.
High Castle drew tons of votes, prompting a full season development, and at the recent Comic-Con, the cast and creators held a panel for the show during which they debuted the impressive trailer for its first season.
EW was on hand during the panel, and learned these five things about the show:
- Ridley Scott’s production company, Scott Free, had been developing Castle as a four hour mini-series for SyFy but when that network passed, they opted for Amazon. Scott’s involvement is “invaluable,” said [creator/co-writer Frank Spotnitz], saying Scott’s visual references included The Conformist and Edward Hopper’s art.
- One of the most striking images in the trailer, which they debuted at the panel, was of Times Square with a giant Nazi flag displayed. Spotnitz said that shot, actually filmed in a parking lot in Seattle, will have its effects refined once the series premieres.
- Spotnitz says the first season will focus on the U.S. and not as much the broader world. Said the producer, “You will find out very slowly what’s happened to the rest of the map.”
- The Man in the High Castle, who produces newsreels of the Allies winning WWII, still is a mystery to the cast. “It changes on a weekly basis,” says actor Rupert Evans on the cast’s theories as to The Man’s identity.
- Dick’s daughter, Isa Dick Hackett, thinks her father would enjoy this adaptation of his book. “I would hope he loves it as much as I do,” she said. “He’d be astonished that it still resonates.”
The Man in the High Castle starsis currently in production, with plans to release the entire first season in its entirety on Amazon Prime once it is done.
Last Updated: July 15, 2015