Exclusive: Michel Gondry "still working" on Ubik adaptation

News Ryan Lambie
6 May 2014 - 13:07

Director Michel Gondry has told us that he's still working on an adaptation of Philip K Dick's sci-fi novel, Ubik...

As meetings of artists and subject go, the notion of Michel Gondry applying his handmade, dreamlike filmmaking style to the equally surreal writings of Philip K Dick sounds like a match made in heaven. And for the past three years, that's exactly what we were looking forward to: Gondry's adaptation of PKD's Ubik, a 1969 novel about alternate realities and psychic powers.

Over the past few days, it's been widely reported that Gondry is no longer working on Ubik - this is according to an interview with the French website, Telerama, where the director is translated as saying, "I don't feel up to doing it. It doesn't have the dramatic structure that would make it a good film."

That interview was published on the 30th April, and appeared to suggest that the Ubik project was effectively dead. Yet when we spoke to Gondry on the 2nd May - the filmmaker was in London to promote his forthcoming feature, Mood Indigo - he didn't say anything about having abandoned Ubik at all.

"Are you still going to adapt Philip K Dick's Ubik?" we asked. "I'm not sure yet," he said. "I'm still working on it, but it's taking forever."

In fact, Gondry still seems to hold a great deal of enthusiasm for Dick's novel. "It’s a very strong and dark story," he told us. "There’s a lot of surprises. The book takes you to places you don’t expect to go. It makes it very hard to adapt, so I’m a bit scared at the moment!"

Gondry did make it clear that Ubik wouldn't be his next film ("I'm going to do another movie first, for sure"), but he did give us a hint as to what his next project might be. It is, he said, "A kids' story about a road trip in France."

So while the director isn't exactly powering ahead with his proposed Ubik adaptation, it's by no means a dead project, either. For now, our hopes of a Gondry-directed Philip K Dick movie are still very much alive.



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