A new biographical film called “Only Apparently Real”, based on the life of the legendary science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, is in development.
Dick is considered one of the greatest science fiction writers who ever lived, and his novels served as the source material for a number of successful and beloved films, including Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), Remember Everything (1990), Dissenting Opinion (2002), Grim Scanner (2006) and Salary (2003). In his unique works there were often elements of dystopia and deep paranoia, which are believed to have arisen as a result of his own struggle with schizophrenia. Its characteristic gloomy atmosphere resonated in the post-Watergate world of increasing uncertainty and distrust of institutions.
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Dick is a charming figure whose unusual personal life occupies a much more prominent place in his popular image than most other writers (at least before the advent of the Internet). According to The Hollywood Reporter, only “Apparently the Real One” will draw on Paul Williams’ 1986 biography of the same name. Williams was a music journalist and writer who wrote a prominent profile of Dick for Rolling Stone in the 1970s, and later became the administrator of Dick’s literary estate after his death. The biographical film is currently being directed by renowned producer John Shestak (Air Force One, Dan in real life) and is in the very early stages of preparation for filming.
Only “Apparently the Present” will center around a famous incident in 1971 when Dick claimed his house had been broken into, his house robbed, and his manuscripts stolen. There are many theories about this incident, but it is known that Dick was struggling with drug use, frequent hallucinations and a writer’s crisis at the time, so it is not easy to establish the truth. The film almost certainly explores how Dick’s own life contained many of the themes of his novel about paranoia, identity crisis, and the blurring between reality and fantasy.
In addition, the film is funded by the crypto-currency DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), an organization that has no official head and makes decisions by democratic vote of its members. It will be interesting to see if this unusual form of financing will affect the production of the film, although in any case, most of the control should remain in the hands of the producers of the film.
At the moment, very little is set in stone for “Only apparently real.” Even the director was not chosen. Another important issue is the main role. If the movie does feature a 1971 hack, its success probably depends heavily on who plays Dick himself, which would certainly be a challenging role. As is typical for stories involving Dick, many questions remain.
Filming of only “Apparently Real” will begin this fall.