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Michel Gondry To Take On Philip K. Dick’s Classic Ubik

Michel Gondry did amazing things with his adaptation of Green Hornet, and now he’s stepping up to bring another other-media work to the big screen. Gondry revealed that he’ll be adapting Philip K. Dick’s Ubik at the launch of his “The Factory Movie Lovers” exhibit at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, The Playlist reports.

While Dick is an acclaimed science fiction author whose works have translated in the past to big-budget action (Total Recall!), don’t expect Gondry to follow Green Hornet with another blockbuster. Ubik, described as a “sci-fi comedy,” follows an agent of an “anti-psi security agency.” Who … gets involved in stuff. There’s a trip to the moon, a murder, ghostly messages, timeplay — this is vintage Dick.

The Playlist rightly notes that the author’s work is a bit difficult to describe concisely (especially when you haven’t read it!), so I’m just going to follow their lead and give you a peek at the Amazon synopsis. Make of it what you will or, better, go expand your mind and read the book.

Chip works for Glen Runciter’s anti-psi security agency, which hires out its talents to block telepathic snooping and paranormal dirty tricks. When its special team tackles a big job on the Moon, something goes terribly wrong. Runciter is killed, it seems—but messages from him now appear on toilet walls, traffic tickets, or product labels. Meanwhile, fragments of reality are timeslipping into past versions: Joe Chip’s beloved stereo system reverts to a hand-cranked 78 player with bamboo needles. Why does Runciter’s face appear on U.S. coins? Why the repeated ads for a hard-to-find universal panacea called Ubik (“safe when taken as directed”)?

The true, chilling state of affairs slowly becomes clear, though the villain isn’t who Joe Chip thinks. And this is Dick country, where final truths are never quite final and—with the help of Ubik—the reality/illusion balance can still be tilted the other way.


  • Coryjameson


  • BradRz

    Awesome. Probably the best match of material and talent I could imagine. When I heard that ‘Ubik’ was on the fast track to the screen, my heart sank, thinking there was no way it would be given to the handful of directors who could: 1. Understand it. 2. Pull it off. 3. Be allowed by any studio to do #2. Terry Gilliam would fulfill the first two conditions, but probably not be granted the needed budget and control; Gondry was the only director I could think of who could meet all three conditions. Awesome.

  • Gabriel

    Agreed. I have rarely seen such a perfect match made in hollywood before!