When you get Bourne writer George Nolfi teamed up with Matt Damon for an adaptation of a Philip K Dick story, you get excited. And you sort of assume it’ll end up at Universal, which loves being in the Bourne and Friends business, so it’s no shock that the project – which was shopped around to studios last week – ended up at the movie lot across the highway from my apartment.
Now comes the interesting part. The film, The Adjustment Bureau, based on the Dick story The Adjustment Team, may be a touch familiar in plot. Here are the non-spoiler basics: Damon will play an up and coming congressman who falls in love with a beautiful ballerina, but discovers that strange forces are keeping them apart.
And here’s the spoiler: in the original story, published in 1954, the guy (a real estate salesman – nobody wants to keep Dick’s everymen in the movie adaptations, huh?) finds out that the world is a soundstage, a manufactured reality where mysterious guardians are in control. It’s Dark City and The Truman Show wrapped up in one. So how will Nolfi make this fresh for people who will walk out of the theater thinking he ripped off movies that actually ripped off this story? I’m deeply curious, and hope that Damon’s involvement means that Nolfi completely cracked that angle.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey