Keanu was recently in Cannes with A Scanner Darkly, which screened in the Un Certain Regard category. I'm not sure what that means....but MonstersandCritics.com has some of the Q&A press conference with the cast and director, Richard Linklater.
More pics from Cannes here at KeanuWeb.
The Vibemerchants have a perfect song for an ASD trailer called Baby Blue, but the recording I have is way too muddy. Rats.
I tried another using our song Wankers Away, which is better, but because I have no idea what I'm doing and only edited with Jumpcut (instead of being able to slice up the trailer further and truly mix it up) it's pretty lame and I haven't published it. I'll post it if and when I do.
So, where are your remixes?
Thanks to POTD:
Warner Brothers' official site for A Scanner Darkly is up with a bunch of paranoia inducing content, including tracking your actions (and by actions, I mean mouseclicks) while on the site.
It also has a little I.M. Fred-bot, that's amazingly...and annoyingly tweaker-like in its abilty to not really listen to what you're saying and log out in the middle of a conversation.
Also, thanks to Jena for this article scan from EW with a still of Robert Downey Jr from the film.
As plans develop for Radiohead to get out on the road for a summer tour, the band has confirmed that it will also contribute music to the soundtrack for director Richard Linklater's film, A Scanner Darkly.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, a spokesperson for Warner Independent Pictures revealed that the band's contribution to the film extends even farther than previously believed. Radiohead won't score the entire film -- which stars Keanu Reeves -- they said, but the film will "feature music by Radiohead, including a brand-new track from lead singer Thom Yorke's upcoming solo release."
No further information on Yorke's solo project was revealed and so far, Yorke himself is keeping mum on the details.
A Scanner Darkly, an adaptation of Philip K. Dick's sci-fi book, will hit theaters July 7, according to Pitchfork. The band has announced a set of tour dates, but none on this continent just yet.
NYCC '06: A Scanner Darkly--the First 30 Minutes
Comic-Con attendees are treated to a sneak peek at the upcoming Philip K. Dick adaptation.
by Chris Carle
February 26, 2006 - Go to enough comic book conventions and you are likely to see a cool sneak peek or two. The surprise of today's New York Comic-Con came from Warner Independent Pictures, who decided to showcase the first thirty minutes of the futuristic A Scanner Darkly to a crowd of lucky show-goers.
Audiences recently got a better idea of what the Richard Linklater film is about when the long form trailer hit the Internet a few weeks back, but the extended viewing we got at the con afforded us a closer look at the amazing interpolated rotoscope animation style and shed light on more of the story elements.
For those who have not yet heard of the project, A Scanner Darkly is based on the sci-fi novel by Hollywood favorite Philip K. Dick, whose works have been adapted into Minority Report, Blade Runner and Total Recall. This is perhaps the most faithful of a Dick story yet, and its rights were acquired at a discount because the filmmakers promised to remain true to the tale's original intent.
Set seven years in the future, the government is losing the war on drugs, and a quarter of the population has fallen prey to a drug known as Substance D. "Either you're on it, or you haven't tried it," remarks Robert Downey Jr.'s character early in the film.
The story tracks an undercover cop and his relationship with his friends, several of whom are mixed up in the mire of drugs. Every relationship and transaction is tracked by the government with advanced surveillance equipment, and only a single powerful corporation goes unchecked. That is the basic outline of what goes on… If you want to fully preserve the sanctity of the viewing experience, you may want to stop reading here, as we are about to delve deeper into the first 30 minutes, and as such, MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW.
Are you sure you want to click below to read the spoileriffic rest of the article?
In the thirty minutes we saw, the most overwhelming feeling the movie creates is a sense of crushing paranoia. The animation oozes and slinks around, casting an eerie sheen on the proceedings. The film opens with a crazy-making drug sequence where one of the (allegedly) addicted characters claws at his body, feeling he is being attacked by giant aphids. That scene sets the tone for the claustrophobic and desperate film, but what ices the sense of paranoia is the technology known as a "scramble suit," a sort of camouflage which cycles through millions of random body parts, completely obscuring its wearer. The film invites us inside the suit, where we see the world from the perspective of the main character, played by sci-fi vet Keanu Reeves.
Upping the paranoia ante further is the Big Brother approach to "scanning." The society portrayed employs an almost 1:1 ratio of watchers to citizens, and complete surveillance of everyone's movements. One sequence shows the central network of tracking systems as they hone in on multiple targets, finally settling on their intended victim, who is merely walking down the street. The information collection is apparent in every scene, with distorted views, record light indicators, security camera angles and recorded audio effects tipping off the spying. The ultimate payoff of this attention to the omnipresent nature of civilian surveillance is a sense of repression and dread.
These science-fiction elements really lend themselves to the animated style, which is created by a program that is a proprietary blend of Flash and Illustrator. Linklater used almost the same technology to make his philosophical ponder-fest Waking Life. Tweaks have been made to the software, including a warp function to provide depth of field, lending Darkly much more dimension than Waking Life enjoyed.
From the first glimpse, the performances seem solid and nuanced, and it's easy to see why actors would want to be associated with this production. Robert Downey Jr. especially stands out as a neurotic, shifty and hilarious schemer. Overall, the film is much funnier than it comes across in the trailer, and the paranoia is played as much for laughs as thrills.
If the rest of the film is as intriguing and affecting as the first thirty minutes, audiences should be in for a mind-blowing head-trip into the future. Stay tuned to IGN FilmForce for more updates as the film gets closer to release.
When I got home, The Wired mag was there.
Alas, I have no scanner so here's a photo of the cover.
And because I'm extremely guilt-ridden by the lack of attention I give to the blog these days, I'm going to pay penance by TYPING SHIT UP BY HAND.
Or at least as much of it as I can...
There's actually several related articles, I'll do the one about A Scanner Darkly
in a bit, errr, tomorrow if no one else has got it d'oh, KeanuWeb has it right here, for now - here's an extra feature called "10 reasons Keanu RULES":
1. HE'S THE FACE OF GLOBALIZATION - Born in Beirut to an English Mother and a father of Chinese and Hawaiian decent, he's a citizen of the world. And unlike the multiracial Vin Diesel, he saves the universe with his geekiness, not mere muscle.
2. HE'S NOW HOLLYWOOD'S SCI-FI GUY - He was the first actor to bring William Gibson's work to the screen with Johnny Mnemonic. When Ewan McGregor and Will Smith turned down the part of Neo, Reeves jumped at the chance to enter the Matrix.
3. HE MADE A TRILOGY THAT BEATS THE STAR WARS PREQUELS - Reeves said of the original Matrix, "It's got the kind of mythical figures that make a classic: the hero, the wise man, the warriors, the guides, the prophesy, the oracle, and the messiah." All that and no Jar-Jar.
4. HE'S AN EARLY ADOPTER - His former band Dogstar released an enhanced CD way back in 1996, when the only "dual disc" was a double-sided vinyl LP.
5. HE LOVES A WELL-BUILT MACHINE - Despite his inner Buddha, Reeves covets Norton motorcycles. We'd like to see the Wachowski Brothers direct him in a big-screen version of Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
6. HE REVERES THE F/X GUYS - Reeves gave millions of his backend earnings from the Matrix sequels to the movies' costume and special effects teams.
7. HE ENJOYS A GOOD GRAPHIC NOVEL - Reeves is a huge fan of Frank Miller, creator of The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City. He also starred in Constantine, the big-screen adaptation of the creepy comic book Hellblazer, and he's been mentioned as a possible lead in the Silver Surfer film.
8. HE'S HIPPER THAN A JAPANESE SCHOOLGIRL - Reeves the fanboy has an impressive record for spotting what's next in everything from music (Architecture in Helsinki) to movies (director Mike Mills).
9. HE'S A VIDEOGAME THESPIAN - He didn't just participate in the anime crossover The Animatrix; he was also game enough to shoot extensive motion capture for Atari's Enter the Matrix.
10. HE'S SMART. NO, REALLY. - Reeves has called himself a "meathead" but Matrix producer Joel Silver insists he's "very well read, very conscious of the world, politics, the economy." He can talk about the difeerences between the theories of Schopenhauer, Hegel, and Kant. And he's even a crack chess player. Hey maybe he is The One.
Well hell....we knew all of that.
...and of course, Club-Keanu already had this feature.
Oh well, at least I feel punished.
Here's a look at the poster for A Scanner Darkly, and Warner Brothers also has released a new trailer as well (direct link to quicktime file).
I love, love the paraniod look of the windowblinds.
Coming to a newsstand near you, Keanu will be featured on the cover of March's issue of WIRED Magazine, (which V. has a subscription to so I'll be checking the mailbox) and will also be interviewed by Michael Fleming in April's PLAYBOY, which someone will have to go to another part of town and buy... *cough* [dons sunglasses], 'cause ya know....smut.
Today, referencing that Wired article, AICN reports that Reeves is possibly being considered for another comic-based role, this time it's Marvel's Silver Surfer, and 'tis merely a rumor at this point.
And what's been going on with me?
Well, The Vibemerchants went to a pro studio and recorded a couple of songs so we could enter a contest to open for....Bon Jovi! Which is hilarious but sort of appropriate since Bon Jovi was the biggest name that a little band called Dogstar was ever on the bill with, I believe.
And last but definitely not least, February 14 was a very special "V." day....I got engaged.
Looks like I'm going to have to adjust the countdown (and fix the graphic.)
Here's a glowing Scanner review:
"A Scanner Darkly delivers. At least, it delivered up to my expectations. They may be very high expectations, though, I realize. It is a dense movie, that is not going to be easy to understand in one viewing. Even I'm not 100% sure about what happened."
Here's a tidbit from the first one, I can't tell if it's snark or a compliment...
"Every performer gives us a memorable character, which is especially challenging for Keanu Reeves. His buddha-like enlightened, serene, and somewhat stoic Neo style is in full effect, however instead of enlightenment we get disillusion. Instead of bliss we get despair. The damn guy can be like a Rorsharch test sometimes, and if any role in all of geekdom calls for it, Bob Arctor aka Fred is certainly it."
The second reviewer has no love for our guy (and apparently some sort of fear of apostrophes), so, you know, fuck him with a copy of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Well.
I really enjoyed the details on the animation style in the first review along with the commentary on the intelligence of the film. That kind of enthusiasm for a rough cut/unfinished product sounds really promising.
This weekend, at RESFEST - LA...
Get an insider's advance look at Richard Linklater's upcoming feature, A Scanner Darkly, based on the dystopic science-fiction novel by Philip K. Dick. Producer Tommy Pallotta, from the team who brought you the groundbreaking Waking Life, will be on hand to screen clips and discuss the film, which further explores Waking Life's visually stunning live action/animation rotoscoping technique. A Scanner Darkly opens in theaters in 2006.
RESFEST also featured Mike Mills in a sold-out talk and Thumbsucker's San Francisco premiere, along with some short film projects including two by Mike Mills : Not How, What or Why But Yes (which lists Lou Pucci in the credits) and The Architecture of Reassurance.
Thanks to Weezie, who posted this in my comments last week (again, I'm a slacker...).
The Charity Folks auction is raising funds for the Katrina Hurricane relief and has tickets to the A Scanner Darkly premiere.
If the auction's too steep, please consider helping the victims of Katrina donating to The Red Cross directly if you haven't already. Thanks.
Keanu won't be there, but his projects will....
Comic-Con 2005 - San Diego, California, USA
From the schedule for Thursday, July 14:
1:30-2:30 Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly: The Movie: Like a graphic novel come to life, A Scanner Darkly, based on the science fiction novel by author Philip K. Dick, will use live action photography overlaid with an advanced animation process (interpolated rotoscoping) to create a haunting, highly stylized vision of the future. The technology, first employed in Richard Linklater's 2001 film Waking Life, has evolved to produce even more emotional impact and detail. Appearing in person to present a look and discuss the creative process of this ground breaking film will be producer Tommy Pallotta and lead animators Sterling Allen, Evan Cagle, Nick Derington and Christopher Jennings. Also on the panel, in order to answer the question: "Do Androids Dream of Being Phil Dick?" will be Philip K. Dick in android form! Come and see for yourself, he'll even answer your questions! Written for the screen and directed by Richard Linklater, the film stars Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder and Rory Cochrane, and will be released by Warner Independent pictures in 2006. Room 6CDEF
5:30-7:00 Constantine: From Comic to Film Warner Home Video hosts key Constantine film and comics luminaries for a special presentation and discussion. The panel features actress Rachel Weisz (Mummy series), film director Francis Lawrence, VERTIGO editor Karen Berger, comics writer Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets), and artist Tim Bradstreet (Punisher). Moderator Jeff Conner interrogates the participants and raffles off signed movie memorabilia and prerelease DVDs. Room 6B
Ealier this month, JoBlo.com posted some stills from A Scanner Darkly.
There's also a review of the trailer that shows some good expectations over at BlogCritics.
Inside the production of Richard Linklater's 'A Scanner Darkly'
Richard Linklater's Detour FilmProduction is a hive of activity these days, its warren-like rooms buzzing with dozens of local and far-flung animators, some 35 in all, working in teams and hunched over Wacom tablets connected to Power Mac G5 towers and oversized cinema display monitors. The sight of all this computing power alone is staggering, but the real short, sharp shock comes when you get a look at what the Detour and Flat Black Films conscriptees are working on: It's Linklater's faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel A Scanner Darkly, which is being brought to full paranoid life via Bob Sabiston's gloriously surreal software abilities, which, as in the team's previous Waking Life, utilizes hi-def filmmaking overlayed with a rich, rotoscope-inspired animation. Thirty-plus animators, and, here's the catch, so pay attention: They need more.
This time out, however, Linklater is eschewing the dreamy, existentialist look of that previous film in favor of a more realistic approach; at this early stage, A Scanner Darkly looks for all the world like the world's most breathtaking animé, drenched in a sort of hyperrealistic, painterly scheme that rests atop the talents of some of the world's finest actors.
"Waking Life was real loose," explains Flat Black animator Mike Layne. "We had each person watch what Rick had done, and then whichever scene seemed to be a match for their animation abilities they could take a stab at.
"With A Scanner Darkly, we're trying to be much more cohesive, because we've got A-list actors and those guys need to be recognizable. If you've got somebody like Robert Downey Jr., who is made of elastic – there is nothing on him that is stationary at any time – capturing all of his expressions and doing justice to someone that great an actor is a real challenge. It's interesting to see him in particular, because you never really notice how much goes into acting until you see a guy who is going into the scene that way and you see every little nuance that goes into each little piece of his performance. It's incredibly complex and detailed, and we've really got to capture that in the animation."
The storyline, according to Sabiston, is "about a house full of roommates who are all basically drug addicts, one of whom happens to be an undercover cop assigned to surveil his fellow roommates and discover where the chain of drugs is coming from."
This being a Philip K. Dick adaptation, things are a bit more complicated than that, and Keanu Reeves' Arctor character – the cop – suffers a schizophrenic mental break that causes him to begin "narcing on himself," essentially. Read the book, see the movie, but don't plan on playing the board game anytime soon. On the plus side, your dream job has just been announced:
"We're trying to have this movie have more of a unified look than Waking Life," Sabiston says. "It's more of a finely detailed comic book with fine lines and real accuracy, a very polished look. And people who have experience drawing really detailed, accurate portraits of people are who we're looking for." – Marc Savlov
Be sure to click on the article link for contact info for anyone in the Austin area that is interested in applying for the animation team as well as more stills from the production, including the first looks at the rest of the cast.
AICN has the first hi-res images from A Scanner Darkly.
oh my fuck.
Also, freezedriedmovies.com has another image (from Premiere)
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "I am one of those who never knows the direction of my journey until I have almost arrived," wrote author Anna Louise Strong. Right about now, Virgo, you could probably speak those same words with sincerity. For months you've felt as if an invisible force were shepherding you towards an unseen goal. You've trusted the process because it resonated with a gut feeling that kept telling you "YES!" And now, finally, you're about to come to the end of the quest and collect your reward. Keep in mind, though, that even after you have it, you may not fully understand it for months.
I watched Richard Linklater's Slacker last night. I was sure that I'd never seen it, but there was such a familiarity with it all that now I think maybe I have. Maybe I've just known too many slackers throughout my life (surely I was one for many years, maybe I still am) that it was all kind of deja vu. While watching some of the scenes play out there was a feeling like "I know this guy.........and he still owes me money..."
Linklater himself acts in the film and has a great monologue in the opening scene that talks about dreams and alternate realities and there's a lot Gen-X talky "philosophy" throughout the film. After seeing both Slacker and Waking Life and thinking about the certain parts of PKD's book - the various conversations of Arctor/Barris/Luckman: heavy, absurd, endless ones, sometimes about nothing - it really seems like Linklater was the perfect choice to make A Scanner Darkly. It's like the obvious future of the slackers and the dreamers.
One of many different realities depending on the direction of their journey and whether they stayed on the bus or not.
Have I mentioned how fucking incredible I think this film is going to be?
I finally finished reading A Scanner Darkly this weekend, and now I want to read it again. It shouldn't have taken me so long, but the only time I read is right before I go to sleep and lately I've been only able to read a page or three and I'm out.
One part toward the end that really struck me was a part about reflections and mirrors and photographs and opposite images.
Because, he thought glumly as he watched the police psychologists writing their conclusions and signing them, we are fucking backward right now, I guess, every one of us; everyone and every damn thing, and distance, and even time. But how long, he thought, when a print is being made, a contact print, when the photographer discovers he's got the negative reversed, how long does it take to flip it? To reverse it again so it's like it's supposed to be?
A fraction of a second.
I understand, he thought, what that passage in the Bible means, Through a glass darkly. But my percept system is as fucked up as ever. Like they say. I understand but am helpless to help myself.
Maybe, he thought, since I see both ways at once, correctly and reversed, I'm the first person in human history to have it flipped and not-flipped simultaneously, and so get a glimpse of what it'll be when it's right. Although I've got the other as well, the regular. And which is which?
Which is reversed and which is not?
When do I see a photograph, when a reflection?
Isn't that a positive?
Aside from the headtrippy philosophy of the whole thing which is a whole 'nuther blog entry that I don't have the focus to do today, it got me to thinking about Keanu himself, and all the photographs we see of him. How what we see is different from what he sees in the mirror every day. Granted, I'm sure he sees plenty of pictures of himself, he is one of the most photographed men in the world, and I don't think he spends a whole lot of time in the mirror, but you know what I mean.
As a fan and someone who sees his face in photographs nearly every day, I can usually spot when a negative has been reversed. It used to bother me. I had a great large print of the image from Point Break of him in the rain looking over his shoulder that my brother framed for me. Once I realized it was a reversed image it actually bothered me enough that I took it out of the frame and replaced it with something else.
Yesterday, after reading the above passage more than once, I looked at some photos of him that had been mirrored. They still look "off" to me, but when I look at them with a different frame of mind now, it's.....still weird, but different.
And then I got all thinky and spent about 25 minutes looking in my own mirror.
Anyway, I'm rambling because I not only have a really scary dentist appointment today (longtime readers know about my dental anxiety) but we have a freaking gig tonight. Gah.
Go read Nudel's blog entry.
Just a few production details from Indie Wire:
SCANNING: Warner Independent Pictures has announced that production has wrapped on the much-buzzed-about Richard Linklater adaptation of Philip K. Dick's "A Scanner Darkly." The film, starring Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey, Jr., Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder, and Rory Cochrane, was being shot in Austin, Texas. It is about a suburban California cop (Reeves) in a drug-fueled future who has to spy on his friends. The film will use live action photography with rotoscoping animation to create its vision of the future. Warner Indie noted that the rotoscoping process, seen in Linklater's "Waking Life," "has evolved to produce even more emotional impact and detail." Since publication in 1977, Dick's classic has sold more than 20 million books worldwide. The Section Eight/Detour project is being produced by Anne Walker-McBay, Tommy Pallotta, Jonah Smith, Palmer West, and Erwin Stoff. Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney, Jennifer Fox, Ben Cosgrove, and John Sloss are executive producing. Warner Indie, which is co-financing with Smith and West's Thousand Words, plans a fall 2005 release.
Richard Linklater On A Scanner Darkly
by Edward Douglas
Richard Linklater has been doing the rounds for his latest movie, Before Sunset, a sequel to his 1995 indie favorite Before Sunrise, that opens in major cities this weekend. While in town, he talked to Coming Soon about his latest passion, his animated adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly, starring Keanu Reeves:
CS!: What is this movie about?
Linklater: “It’s kind of a drug movie. It’s set in the near future in the middle of a drug epidemic. It’s going to be animated. I just shot the live action portion, but ultimately, it’s an animated film using a similar rotoscoping process that I used in Waking Life. It’s the same software, but it’s been updated. [Animator] Bob Sabiston continues to work on it, so the animation is at an interesting place. It will have a different look that I think will work with the story well. I’ve been wanting to do another animated film, so I’m glad I got the chance.”
CS!: What made you want to do this movie? Were you a big science fiction fan?
Linklater: “I was as a teenager, but I let it go a long time ago. I can’t say that I am in a typical sense, but I do like Phillip K. Dick and I’ve read quite a bit of his stuff. A Scanner Darkly is one of my favorites of his, because it seemed the most personal. I was lucky enough to get an option on it a few years ago, so I just wrote an adaptation of it and thought it would be an interesting animated movie. It’s not really that science fiction either. To me, it has one science fiction element, but beyond that, it’s pretty realistic. I love that about Dick’s stuff: paranoia plus a generation equal reality. It’s like we’re living in his science fiction as we speak, so it seemed really timely to me.”
CS!: Many of Phillip K. Dick’s stories have been turned into action films. What is going to be your take on this one?
Linklater: “A lot of Phillip K. Dick’s stories and novels have always been adapted, but usually, they are taking some cool idea and making it work in some genre like an action film, and that can work. I like that novel so much that I wanted to do that story and I want to be very faithful and tell the whole story. What drives me crazy is that I think Phil K. Dick is hilarious. He’s a really funny writer. I laugh when I read the books or I chuckle, and I wanted to make a movie like that. It’s really darkly funny. I’m kind of making a comedy, but it’s a weird comedy. Who knows how I pull it off, but I approached it like that. I hung out with his daughters a lot, and they liked my approach to it. They liked that someone was actually doing the story, not just plucking an idea and running with it. This is the story. This is that book. It feels pretty good. Keanu is great as Bob [Arctor], the lead character. He’s an interesting guy. His thinking is such that I thought he would be perfect.”
Scanner Aims For Laughs
Richard Linklater, who is directing a film adaptation of SF author Philip K. Dick's novel A Scanner Darkly, told SCI FI Wire that he's mining the unexpected comedic potential of the late writer's work. "Philip K. Dick is very funny," Linklater said in an interview. "You wouldn't know it necessarily from the movies that have been filmed on his stories and books, but I've always thought Dick was hilarious. It's very dark comedy, a funny sensibility in so much of his stuff. So I'm going for that. And it's a good, creepy, timely story."
Dick's novel tells the story of a future in which America has lost the war on drugs. Keanu Reeves plays a narcotics officer seeking a drug dealer who turns out to be a alternate version of himself. Since Scanner was a novel, Linklater feels the film will be more faithful than those based on Dick's short stories.
"I'm trying to tell the story he told," Linklater said. "No one else has really tried to do that too much, because what they ve usually done is taken an idea, like the core idea, and then they usually put it into a genre and make it work in a more genre-typical sense. Some really great movies have been made from that stuff. But that wasn't my take on this movie, because it's not really an action film. It's primarily a character piece." Warner Independent Pictures will release A Scanner Darkly in the fall of 2005.
I'm still reading ASD and it's definitely full of humor. Some of it is esoteric drug-culture-related but if you get it, you just have to laugh. I'm enjoying picturing some of the scenes (Downey is going to be perfect as Barris) as I read them.
Have I mentioned that I can't wait to see this film?
A Scanner Darkly director Richard Linklater has a new film - Before Sunset - poised for release. Here's an interview with him about the film, which is the sequel to Before Sunrise, a film he made 9 years ago.
No mention of Scanner in the interview, but it's a good look at a fascinating filmmaker. I'll bet he was great to work with.
Also, for those of you that have Netflix, they now have several of Linklater's movies, including Before Sunrise and Waking Life. You should rent that if you haven't already.
PhilipKDick.com and the Philip K. Dick Trust have a page regarding the film adaptation of A Scanner Darkly.
A Scanner Darkly is one of our father's most personal stories because much of it is based on his own experiences. For this reason, it was especially important to us that it be done with all of the right intentions. His struggle with drug abuse is well documented, and he (and we) have witnessed many casualties. The novel is filled with his humor and his own tragedies. And we believe that Richard's screenplay manages to capture these key elements -- he has even included our father's poignant afterword in his adaptation.
After agreeing that this project was the right way to go, we were delighted to hear that this group of gifted actors would be playing the characters: Keanu Reeves as Arctor, Winona Ryder as Donna, Robert Downey Jr. as Barris, Woody Harrelson as Luckman, and Rory Cochrane as Freck. We think each person brings a unique quality and passion to the project. Laura and I visited the set during filming and had a chance to speak with the actors about some of the more personal aspects of this story. Without exception, every person we spoke to -- actors, producers, and crew was entirely gracious and enthusiastic about the work of Philip K. Dick. They have welcomed our input, and made us feel a part of this project.
Go here to read the whole message from Laura and Isa and for more photos from the set.
I'm so happy that the production has their support and I'm even more excited about Keanu's involvement in this film. It's gonna be huge.
Oh and boo-yah! I so called Downey as Barris! Ooooh, all my casting predictions were on.
-Thanks to Marg for passing this info on.
-Orig. source, MC @ the RDMB
Boing Boing pal Erik Davis sends us this exclusive bit of insider insight into the Hollywood adaptation of Philip K. Dick's surreal SF novel "A Scanner Darkly":"This spring, I had the opportunity to read and consult on Richard Linklater’s screenplay for Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly, which is set to start filming this July. As I love many of Linklater’s films, this was a great honor, although much less funny than the New Yorker’s description of me as a “Dick expert.” Expert or no, I can tell you that I have every reason to believe that Linklater’s film will be what Dickheads everywhere have been waiting for: the first “real” “authentic” PKD movie. While the film updates the historical vibe from paranoid 70s to paranoid 00s, the script is dark and tart, funny and faithful. Nearly all the dialogue is drawn from the novel, and the few changes sharpen Dick’s themes rather than squelch them. Linklater has kept the story dark, and haunted by rumors of God.
As has been reported, Keanu Reeves will play Bob Arctor, the Orange County narc who goes schizo after being assigned to spy on himself. Linklater has been planning this project for years; it was Reeves’ interest in the story that finally got the ball rolling. As has been already noted, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, and Rory Cochrane round out the cast, though it also needs to be mentioned that these are some of the most famous druggies in Hollywood. Actually, I don’t know anything about Rory’s personal habits, but he sure spouted convincing cannabinoid bon mots in Dazed & Confused.
During my time at Linklater’s pine-forested getaway pad outside of Austin, which features a pagoda, a huge stone tower, and many pinball machines, I got to meet the genius team whose digital rotoscoping helped make Waking Life one of the few masterpieces of the new millennium. These are definitely the guys you want to bring Bob Arctor’s scramble suit to life."
Coming Soon (via POTD) reports that Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson and Rory Cochrane have been added to the cast of A Scanner Darkly.
"for now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known"
Here's a plot summary of A Scanner Darkly from Philip K. Dick's Official Site:
Bob Arctor is a dealer of the lethally addictive drug Substance D. Fred is the police agent assigned to tail and eventually bust him. To do so, Fred takes on the identity of a drug dealer named Bob Arctor. And since Substance D--which Arctor takes in massive doses--gradually splits the user's brain into two distinct, combative entities, Fred doesn't realize he is narcing on himself.
Go deeper with this wikipedia entry on the book.
Dick's standard themes appear here:
- the construction of reality in consciousness,
- an admirable, fascinating, but unattainable and marginally insane woman,
- humaneness in extreme situations
The most interesting in-a-nutshell look at Darkly I've found is at everything2. Especially the node by Wicker808, which includes this insight:
Although A Scanner Darkly encompasses some elements of science fiction, the work is not particularly science fiction-y. It is a study of character, and a exploration of the limits of identity.
I think that that point really needs to be made, and I hope that the film focuses on that. For some reason, I have a lot of faith in Linklater that it will.
One of the things I found in my search for information on this project is this 1997 screenplay draft by Charlie Kaufman. Yeah, that Charlie Kaufman. Needless to say I didn't blog much yesterday because I spent all afternoon reading it.
Now, in the original article it says that Linklater wrote the most recent draft of the script. There's really no telling if this current draft has anything to do with the Kaufman script, but in any case, reading the Kaufman script gives a good idea of how the whole thing will work as a film and also give a good understanding to certain aspects of the story that make it make perfect sense that they are going with Linklater's Waking Life-type animation process.
Now the animation of the film is something I've seen discussed already and even gotten emails about. If you're concerned about A Scanner Darkly being a cartoon, I recommend that you rent Waking Life and see what a brilliant piece of filmmaking it is. At least check out the trailer. Like I said, certain aspects of the story (i.e., the scramble suit) make the marriage of this story and this particular technology a perfect union.
And as far as the concern that his beautiful face is going to be covered up with animation? Please. The man is an actor, and while beautiful, he shouldn't have to be limited to (what's a less harsh word than 'exploit'?)-ing his pretty face in order to work. I'm excited and happy for him, as I know he's a fan of Philip K. and while the final product might be 'unreal' in some sense, this is a meaty and challenging role for any actor.
Coming Soon and Variety report :
Keanu Reeves will star in A Scanner Darkly for Warner Independent Pictures, with School of Rock helmer Richard Linklater in talks to direct. Linklater wrote the most recent draft of the script.
George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh's Section 8 will produce the film, an adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel. A Scanner Darkly will employ the same technology Linklater used in Waking Life. It will be shot live-action, then animated.
The story takes place in the future, where undercover agents change their faces along with their identities. Reeves plays one such officer, and his liberal ingestion of the drug Substance D causes him to develop a split personality.
Warner Independent is preparing the film for a May start.
I'm excited about this, I loved Waking Life and am a fan of Philip K. Dick's as well..