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Quint at Comic-Con: A SCANNER DARKLY panel featuring animators and... Philip K. Dick'

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with with my first report from Day 1 on the prowl at the San Diego Comic-Con. Last night you got a bunch of pictures of prototype toys, tons of KING KONG and NARNIA statues from the Weta booth and lots of cool up and coming toys.

Now we're into the meat of the Con. I'm sitting at one of the incredibly packed dining areas on the Con floor, next to a Cafe Express, where you can buy a hot dog for over $4 and a salad for $8. I'm about 10 feet away from the corner booth operated by Leith Adams, who I visit every year at the Con and buy vintage movie posters from. Right now I'm eyeballin' a SILENT NIGHT EVIL NIGHT (aka BLACK CHRISTMAS) one-sheet as well as a THOU SHALT NOT KILL... EXCEPT one-sheet.

Anyway, I've just seen my first panel which was Warner Independent's discussion and preview of Richard Linklater's adaptation of Philip K. Dick's A SCANNER DARKLY. Producer Tommy Pallotta and animators Sterling Allen, Evan Cagle, Nick Derington, Christopher Jennings and I think one that I'm totally leaving out... as well as the originator of A SCANNER DARKLY Philip K. Dick himself.

Yes, I know Dick is dead and yes, I'm not kidding. Philip K. Dick was at the panel. He spoke to the audience, fielded questions and creeped the shit out of everybody in Rm. 6CDEF.

That's Philip K. Dick on the right. In true form, there is an android with a rudimentary A.I. with the voice, face and feel of Philip K. Dick himself.

Isn't that creepy? For the first 40 minutes of the hour long panel Dick was completely still, with a technician working below the table. Sexy, eh?

Then, after we got a screening of the Comic-Con exclusive trailer (I'll get to that in a minute) and an exclusive first look at a scene (ditto) Dick spoke... Well, first he convulsed... then reclined and stared at the ceiling for a minute. Then he spoke...

But first thing's first. Let's get to the bits of info revealed at the panel and a brief description of the scene and the trailer.


The trailer was 2 minutes and 15 seconds with mostly new footage, although the big beats of the teaser trailer were in there (like the Woody "Bathroom window" line and Winona's "...without them ever even knowing" line) including more Robert Downey Jr. being crazy... the key scene being him showing Woody the "Sixty five cent" homemade silencer. He shoots it up in the air and it BANGS getting a well... that worked reaction from the people in front of him.

There was a lot more about the Scanners watching Keanu all the time as well. Hopefully we'll see this footage online soon.

But to hold you over, I have 4 character posters to share with you. I love these posters... especially Downey's poster...

Neat, huh?


They also showed a scene from SCANNER that was about Robert Downey Jr.'s character entering the house where Woody, Winona and Keanu are lounging. He brings in a bike and in super fast, hyper speech he talks about how he got a deal on it. "It's an 18 gear bike" that he got for $50. Woody points out that there are only 9 gears on the bike and Downey starts going off about how he was ripped off. He utters the phrase "Albino lizard shape-shifting bitches" which I thought was quite nice.

This bit was all about the comedy, with Woody insisting that the bike's 9 gears suddenly change to 8 gears and getting excited about going and confronting the guys that have ripped Downey Jr. off. It was really funny and the animation was extremely eye-pleasing.

The backgrounds moved with the shaky, handheld camera and were still had a little motion when still giving it all a very surreal vibe. The performances come through crystal clear. There's never a question about who you're watching. Woody is Woody, Keanu is Keanu, Winona is Winona and Downey Jr. is his old lovable crazy-ass self.


These are little bits of info revealed at the panel.

-Total budget, including animation and actor's salaries on A SCANNER DARKLY is $8 million.

-The animators are 65-70% finished animating the movie.

-There are 5 teams with 10 animators each that are attacking the workload on the film.

-One of those teams ONLY works on the Scramble suit.

-They're hoping to release the film March 2006.

-Keanu's ratty beard is extremely difficult to animate.

-"We have boobies and frontal" was said by one of the animators in regards to the rating of the movie. This was greeted by much applause.

-Terry Gilliam once had the rights to adapt A SCANNER DARKLY and Charlie Kaufman once wrote an adaptation.

-Philip K. Dick is fucking scary.

And now we're to the end. I have to race off soon and attend David Cronenberg's panel on A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, but I must leave you with Dick coming to life.

One of the animators asked Philip K. Dick "What is A SCANNER DARKLY about?"

Dick cocked his head and paused for about 15 seconds then said, "Who told you that?"

The technician then grabbed the special "talk to Philip" microphone and reasked the question. The response was, "I've never been asked that before." Then Dicked paused and tilted his head and said, "Can you speak different languages?"

The audience erupted in laughter. One of the audience members went up to the mic and asked Dick if he dreamed of electric sheep. After another reasking Dick went on a minute and a half monologue about the differences between Ridley Scott's BLADE RUNNER and his original book.

No shit. It was weird as hell... but awesome. OK. Gotta run. Be back soon.


Readers Talkback
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  • July 14, 2005, 9:04 p.m. CST


    by dr_nerdikus

    Could it be?! :o

  • July 14, 2005, 9:04 p.m. CST

    And I even read the article lol

    by dr_nerdikus

    Yeah this is dumb, but you know what, I'm bored! :P

  • July 14, 2005, 9:12 p.m. CST

    sweet jebus that's how dick looked like

    by josh_strapp

    always imagined a moriarty looking fellow

  • July 14, 2005, 9:35 p.m. CST

    It's BATHROOM Window

    by DrRobert

    Two words: Abbey Road

  • July 14, 2005, 9:44 p.m. CST

    it only cost 8 million

    by fried samurai

    Wow I thought it was more exspensive like around the 18 to 20 million range.This only costs a fraction of all the summer films that have come out yet Itll probably be brilliant.I have yet to see one great film in 2005..peace

  • July 14, 2005, 9:59 p.m. CST

    Just like the real thing...

    by FNORDcinco1

    Only without a half a skull, they showed this thing on Attack of the Show two weeks ago...Still weird!

  • July 14, 2005, 10:27 p.m. CST

    What a wasted opportunity!

    by ScaryMonkey

    A person gets a chance to ask PHILIP K. DICK a question, and that's the best one to pop into that audience member's head? "Do androids dream of electric sheep?" How utterly inane! How many of us will ever be granted the opportunity to ask a living... um, dead... uh, no, not dead... CORPOREALLY UNLIVING legend a question? How about asking him his views on the relationship between chemicals, consciousness, and reality? How about his experiences with governmental authority (therein must lie some tales!)? How about his beliefs on the existence or lack thereof of a universal consciousness or deity figure, and the ultimate benevolence or malice of said entity? No? "Do androids dream of electric sheep?" What an ass-clown! Surely the responses would have been pre-programmed claptrap, but the oracular value of the random answers might have been spectacular. BTW, I posit that Philip K. Dick was the inspiration for Vonnegut's Kilgore Trout.

  • July 14, 2005, 10:29 p.m. CST

    That's the second biggest robot Dick I've ever seen.

    by Mansquito

    You see, his name is Dick, and the word dick is also a slang term for the male sex organ. I hope all of you bastards appreciate the genius of my razor sharp wit.

  • July 15, 2005, 1:34 a.m. CST

    Can't wait.

    by kintar0

    If it's anything like the book, it'll rule. Even if it's not, it'll still look incredible.

  • July 15, 2005, 1:36 a.m. CST


    by zabbadoo

    yes, right down to the entire back of his skull being removed to see the computer components therein

  • July 15, 2005, 1:44 a.m. CST

    'Hall of Presidents'

    by Det. John Kimble

    Has technology not advanced past the Imagineers?

  • July 15, 2005, 1:44 a.m. CST

    'Hall of Presidents'

    by Det. John Kimble

    Has technology not advanced past the Imagineers?

  • July 15, 2005, 4:10 a.m. CST

    What is it about?

    by Shan

    There's a perfectly good book you can buy which can help answer that question.

  • July 15, 2005, 4:31 a.m. CST

    8 mil?

    by Neaera

    isnt that a little low for a graphics-intensive film like this? and woah the actors didnt get much...(compared with usual)

  • July 15, 2005, 4:40 a.m. CST

    Again, this looks amazing

    by doonae

    I can't fucking wait to see this. Hopefully it'll open the gates for more faithful adaptations of PKD's work (unlike some of the shit we've had to put up with in the past)

  • July 15, 2005, 6:19 a.m. CST

    Well PULP FICTION was only $8 mill...

    by Tubbs Tattsyrup

    this film looks abso-fucking-lutely incredible. I'm there opening night, you betcha. Personally I think the Woody poster is the best of the lot. Can't wait to see Philip K. Dick get treated with some fucking Respect! Sweet Jesus it takes a Keanu Reeves movie to make it happen. Hey, I got to write Woody and Dick in the same post. Not fucking bad at all.

  • July 15, 2005, 6:31 a.m. CST

    "If I knew it was harmless I would have killed it myself."

    by keepcoolbutcare

    Man Dick would have really geeked out over an android version of himself. Imagine a live PKD talking with an AI Dick? Dick would've offered him some LSD and speed, talked to it for days about the nature of the universe and whether or not the AI had a soul, until the sucker eventually developed consciousness and started asking Dick if he could prove he was human or not just an android! Together, they would take over the world, lead us all down a path to kindness and empathy for our fellow man, until they both realized they were stuck in a fantasy of a highly delusional fan-boy (or maybe not). This film should be a Mindfuck of epic proportions!!!

  • July 15, 2005, 9 a.m. CST

    i agree scarymonkey

    by fried samurai

    I too always thought Dick was an inspiration for Vonneguts Kilgore Trout.They are both my fave writers and I have yet too read any other author who even comes close to their style or genius.BTW my favorite book of all time is BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS and I refuse to see the film it was based on.I heard it really blew..peace

  • July 15, 2005, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Phillip K. Dick

    by MaguaSynfield

    The sheer irony of having the man-god who wrote Do Andriods Dream... appear at Comi-con as, essentially, an andriod, is mind blowing. Somewhere, where ever it is that gods go after they leave this ball of mud, Phillip is shaking his head & laughing. Christ, I wish I'd been there to see it. Priceless. Nice pics, too.

  • July 15, 2005, 12:10 p.m. CST

    ". Hey, I got to write Woody and Dick in the same post."

    by Gruesome Wedgie

    You have to savor moments like these, my friend, because they simply do not come around all that often. Never thought I'd see the names Woody Harrelson & Phillip K Dick in the same sentance. We live in an age of wonders...

  • July 15, 2005, 12:54 p.m. CST

    look at this:

    by Forestal

  • July 15, 2005, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Can't wait til March '06!

    by shatterer

    What, no imbeciles whining about how the animation looks like a Photoshop filter? I think the message is getting through that this movie is going to rule, if only for the animated full-frontal. It should at least be better than Paycheck.

  • July 15, 2005, 3:34 p.m. CST

    has anyone heard of...

    by kintar0

    Masters of Sci-Fi? You know, for Showtime? With stories adapted from H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Robert Heinlein and Stanislav Lem? I know that McWeeny isn't writing one of these stories, but c'mon! This is cool news indeed!

  • July 15, 2005, 10:56 p.m. CST

    give hilary some coffee for fuck's sake.

    by dr.bulber

    that looks like one serious rush.

  • July 16, 2005, 7:56 a.m. CST

    One robot Dick, three cocks and a bad actor.

    by Negative Man

    These wanks making the movie have officially exploited the corpse Philip K. Dick to make an 'ironic impact'. That equals bad taste and trying to be 'cool' in the most obvious marketing of ways. Oddly I've actually met Woody, Downey, Winona and Reeves... Reeves, though I'm not a fan of 99.9 of his flicks, is actually quite a nice guy. Quiet, unassuming and a little embarrassed to be recognized. Of course, this was pre-Matrix. The other three were real live Hollywood, self-important, drugged up cocksuckers. How many can say they were cussed out by Woody Harelson because they didn't have and don't smoke pot? As much as I want to see this has four people that I absolutely do not want to see in a movie. And together no less! This one is screaming illegal download! Now that's good irony! A) For the whole technology twist! B) Because most of the cast have been arrested!

  • July 16, 2005, 8:10 p.m. CST

    To "Negative Man"

    by STAMMER

    To "Negative Man": Yes, yes, you are so very cool for hanging out with the fancy movie stars. Of course Woody cussed you out because you are obviously a insecure reject. Too bad you didn't smoke with Woody- it might have loosened you up enough to pull the stick out of your ass. What else? Well, take a look at the casting, genius. It's flawless. Have you even read the book? It's about DRUGGIES. Hello? Yeah, mugshots. Oops, what a misguided casting choice it was to cast a convicted shoplifter as a thief and drug dealer. (Donna/ Winona.) Get a life.

  • July 16, 2005, 9:27 p.m. CST


    by keepcoolbutcare

    SPOILERS Stammer, good reply there, but Winona is not all she appears. She's actually the only one I'm concerned about.

  • July 18, 2005, 1:30 p.m. CST

    what about the fired animators?

    by johndoeson

    Including Bob Sabiston who created the rotoscoping animation process. Did they happen to mention them? Give us the real scoop!

  • July 20, 2005, 3:27 p.m. CST


    by loonaturk

    @keepcoolbutcare and why are you so concerned about Winona. She's a fine actress and who else in the world could impersonate Donna better than Winona?