A biopic on legendary science fiction writer Philip K. Dick is in the works, and some big names are attached. Charlize Theron and Alfonso Cuarón are on board to produce for now, but the project is in development at Amazon with the two in mind to star and direct, respectively.
Written by the author’s daughter and writer and producer, Isa Hackett, the film is currently working under the title Jane, named after Dick’s twin sister who died only six weeks after birth. In order to tell the fantastical real-life tale of her father’s life, Hackett has reportedly penned Jane as a genre-bending screenplay that will tell the his story in a deeply personal way.
Only six weeks after Dick and his twin sister were born, the baby girl died in infancy. The loss affected the author in such a profound way that his sister’s absence plagued his existence throughout his life, influencing his work considerably. His daughter, wanting to honour her father in a way that complemented his legacy, chose to write the biopic through the eyes of Jane.
Hackett explained to THR how her father’s life story will be retold in an alternate reality, not unlike the ones he himself created and sometimes lived in:
“The story of Jane has been with me for as long as I can remember. Jane, my father’s twin sister who died a few weeks after birth, was at the center of his universe. Befitting a man of his unique imagination, this film will defy the conventions of a biopic and embrace the alternate reality Philip K. Dick so desperately desired—one in which his beloved sister survived beyond six weeks of age.
It is her story we will tell, her lens through which we will see him and his imagination. There is no better way to honor him than to grant him his wish, if only for the screen.”
Dick is best known for penning sci-fi novels such as Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? (which was adapted into Blade Runner), We Can Remember It For You Wholesale (which became Total Recall), Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, Ubik, and alternate history novel The Man In The High Castle.
His fiction explored various philosophical and social questions such as the nature of reality, perception, human nature, and identity. His influence can be found throughout cinema, so an unusual biopic being made about him seems only fitting.
Jane sounds fascinating, and could end up being one of the most unique, personal biopics in film history if it can live up to its premise. We’ll now wait and see if Theron and Cuarón do indeed sign on to be more than just producers of the film. It seems likely that they will; this sounds like too good of a project to pass up.
Theron will next be seen in Netflix’s YA adaptation The School for Good and Evil, and is currently filming two Fast & Furious sequels as well as The Old Guard 2.
Cuarón does not currently have a film in the works, although he is serving as a producer on Rodrigo Garcia‘s upcoming comedy-drama Raymond and Ray, which stars Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke.