Philip K. Dick has created some truly larger-than-life stories of science fiction, with his work being adapted into legendary projects like Blade Runner, Total Recall, and The Man in the High Castle — and now, it looks like part of his own life story is headed to the big screen. On Wednesday, it was announced that Only Apparently Real, a film based on the 1999 biography about Dick of the same name by Paul Williams, is reportedly in development. Williams was a friend of Dick and the one-time literary executioner of his estate. The film adaptation will be produced by Jon Shestack (Air Force One, Dan in Real Life) and Michael Richter (Torn, The Last Adventure of Constance Verity), with the latter writing the film's script. The project is currently searching for a director, with plans to film in San Rafael, California later this fall.
Only Apparently Real centers on a break-in at Dick's house that took place in the early '70s. He was in the midst of his fourth divorce, trying to give up amphetamines, battling writer's block and possibly being spied on by the United States government. Then his house was ransacked, his safe blown open and his manuscripts were stolen. But then again, maybe they weren't and maybe there was never a break-in.
The story also tackles what Dick himself described as a tragic theme that pervaded his life: The death in infancy of his twin sister, Jane, and the reenactment of it over and over again. Dick attributed many of his psychological issues and personal life challenges to her death, including his attachment anxieties.
"His life was as surreal as his books," Shestack said in a statement. "He was a high-level functioning person and you never know, even when reading his journals, what is real and what isn't."
Before his death in 1982, Dick penned 44 novels and over 120 short stories, many of which became cult classics. These included Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which eventually inspired the Blade Runner film and television franchise, as well as Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, and The Adjustment Bureau.
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