Amazon greenlights alternate history series based on Philip K. Dick novel

Following 'Minority Report' and 'Blade Runner,' we have another Philip K. Dick adaptation on our hands.

Mar 1, 2020, 9:56 am*

Internet Culture

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw 

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Amazon has greenlit a TV series based on Philip K. Dick’s The Man In The High Castle, an alternate history novel in which the Nazis won World War II.

A pilot episode for The Man In The High Castle aired in January, along with 12 other pilots from Amazon Studios. Amazon Prime customers were then able to vote on their favorites, and five were picked up for a full season. 

The Man In The High Castle takes place in 1962, in a version of the United States that has been split between Japan (the “Pacific States of America”) and Nazi Germany. Although this is one of Philip K. Dick’s most popular works, it’s the first time it’s been adapted for the screen. The project spent the past four years bouncing between different TV channels and production companies before it eventually ended up at Amazon last year. Co-produced by Ridley Scott and written by Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), Amazon’s pilot already boasts the impressive sci-fi pedigree required for this kind of ambitious speculative fiction drama.

Philip K. Dick adaptations have a good track record. A roster of successful movies include Blade Runner, Minority Report, Total Recall, and A Scanner Darkly. The Man In The High Castle has a ready-made audience of Philip K. Dick fans waiting in the wings, with the pilot episode receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. Given this kind of popularity, it’s no real surprise that Amazon decided to continue with the series.

Screengrab via Amazon Studios/YouTube

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*First Published: Feb 18, 2015, 2:38 pm