Occasionally, there are blends of maker and material that are so perfect, so ideal, that all you can think is “Well, this will never happen.”
This is one of them.
According to Deadline, Michel Gondry is attached to direct an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Ubik. Gondry is writing the script himself, and Steve Zaillian and Steve Golin are producing through their Anonymous Content shingle. It’s not yet set up at a studio, but Golin is financing it until it is, and Deadline suspects it will end up at DreamWorks.
I’m not sure how to summarize Ubik. It’s essentially about a team trying to protect a lunar base from psychic attacks. Reality begins to crumble and shift around them. The characters die and resurrect again and again as time shifts. If they separate, they die and decompose, but there are hints they are already dead and in suspended animation. As things become weirder and more unstable, they decide they need to find a mysterious substance called Ubik, which may be their only hope for survival.
It’s an unsettling book. It may even be unfilmable. Yet if anyone can do it, it’s probably Gondry, who has tinkered with these concepts before. Ubik is full of the stuff that populates his films — shadowy companies, unstable memories, repetition, inner privacy, and the nature of reality.
Again, it’s so perfect that it seems unlikely to happen. What studio would really be willing to make Ubik? Sure, it’s one of those “Time Magazine Greatest Novels” but it ends on a massive and horrific question mark. Still, Darren Aronofsky keeps making that work. Maybe Gondry can too.