I’m currently reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick. Timely, I think, with the Blade Runner movie reboot rumors. But also because two memos of note surrounding the movie have gained recent attention. The first, io9 posted the article (via Reddit), Meet the three Blade Runner producers who hated Blade Runner and in particular the voice over they’d asked for to begin with. In retrospect, they were pretty far off base.
But the second one is a letter from PKD himself. Who was not offbase one little bit. He saw Blade Runner as a movie that’d have a great impact. I think he was correct. He wrote the letter just before his death in 1982 just before the movie hit theaters. Unfortunately he missed seeing that impact.
In the letter he says, “Nothing that we have done, individually or collectively, matches BLADE RUNNER. This is not escapism; it is super realism, so gritty and detailed and authentic and goddam convincing that, well, after the segment I found my normal present-day ‘reality’ pallid by comparison.”
As far as adaptations go, the movie didn’t stick to the story verbatim, but the changes made the movie compelling while still showcasing the amazing world that PKD created. One in which the meaning of humanity is explored in such a compelling way.
But reading the letter he wrote, I was struck by his conclusion: “My life and creative work are justified and completed by BLADE RUNNER.”
He’d yet to see the amazing film legacy he left behind with the additions of Total Recall (1990/2012), Screamers (1995), Minority Report (2002), Paycheck (2003), A Scanner Darkly (2006), The Adjustment Bureau (2011) and others. To me, he’s left an enduring legacy of some incredible films directly adapted from his work, but also in his influence on so many others.
I’ll head back to my reading of androids dreaming of sheep and wait on the new Blade Runner. I certainly hope it lives up to the tradition started by the first movie.
I just wonder, what do you think PKD would think of his legacy now? And have you read any of his other stories you’d hope to see in the movies, or what other author do you think has had such success in well-written screen adaptations? Blade Runner and all the movies I listed above seem to be the exception to the rule, don’t they?
Ella Drake is a dark paranormal and science fiction romance author. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, & Goodreads. Her Science Fiction Romance, Desert Blade is a near-future post-apocalyptic romance from Carina Press. Currently available SFR: Silver Bound, Jaq’s Harp, Braided Silk & Firestorm on E’Terra. And now from Lyrical Press, MetalMark.