Sometimes you see a movie with a real mindfuck of a plot and you think, "Who the hell thinks up this stuff?"
It's pretty much one guy. His movies are on the way to grossing a billion dollars, but the man himself died broke, not having lived to see any of them.
Also, he was insane.
5You Are a Fan of Philip K Dick, Whether You Know it or Not
His name was Philip K. Dick, and if you haven't heard of him you should try reading those words that appear on the screen at the start of a movie sometime. He was a prolific but not hugely popular sci-fi writer from the 1950s until his death in 1982, but now Hollywood seems determined to adapt every single one of the man's 44 novels and 120 short stories. Have you seen the new Matt Damon movie The Adjustment Bureau? About a politician who finds out that all of reality is in fact controlled by supernatural men in hats with the ability to stop time?
They use it the same way we'd use it: to watch people fuck.
It's adapted from a Philip K Dick short story, and it's typical Dick -- at the center is a likable everyman who finds out that reality is not what it seems. If you haven't seen that one, you've probably seen at least half of these Dick adaptations:
1982: Blade Runner -- Harrison Ford stars as an everyman cop who figures out he might be a robot in disguise.
1990: Total Recall -- Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as an everyman construction worker who figures out he might be living in a computer simulation, or is a secret agent who has been programmed with a false personality.
Some adaptations are...looser, than others.
1995: Screamers -- Peter "RoboCop" Weller stars as an everyman soldier who realizes the human enemies he thought he was fighting are actually robots in disguise.
2002: Minority Report -- Tom Cruise is an everyman cop who realizes the pre-crime unit he works for is not what it seems.
Man, you could spam dozens of YouTube comment #2es at a time with a computer like that.
2003: Paycheck -- Ben Affleck is an everyman engineer who finds his memory has been wiped and the job he has taken is not what it seems.
2006: A Scanner Darkly -- Keanu Reeves is an everyman who inhabits a world of hallucinations and "scrambled" agents where no one is what they seem.
2007: Next -- Nicolas Cage can see two minutes into the future or some shit.
Just skip this one.
That's not even a complete list. Eleven freaking stories from this one guy have been turned into movies, and right now no fewer than six more are being developed for film by the likes of Michel Gondry and Ridley Scott, including a Total Recall reboot starring Colin Farrell.
Name us one single writer, anywhere, from any genre, who can say the same (Dick was already the most adapted sci-fi author in film history several movies ago). And that's not even getting into all the movies that borrowed from Dick (aka The Truman Show, Inception, Vanilla Sky, The Matrix -- and then you have directors like Darren Aronofsky who refer to him as an influence).
"I'd like to thank Philip K. Dick and the half-liter of LSD I take with my cheerios every morning."
"Wow", you're no doubt thinking. "It must have been sweet to write all those stories that inspired hit movies. No doubt this Philip K. Dick was constantly lounging by the pool with Harrison Ford and had tons of money and was completely sane. lol Dick."
4Dick Was Broke When He Died
Philip K Dick passed away just before Blade Runner came out and the Hollywood gold rush began. Even during the most profitable time of his career from 1965-1968. he was only making about $12,000 a year. For instance, in the early 50's when he wrote Paycheck he ironically was so poor he had to buy horse meat from a pet shop to survive.
We've all been there, Phil. Some of us go back from time to time when we're making fajitas.
Meanwhile, the $15 million Ben Affleck made from starring in the (shitty) adaptation was enough for Affleck to eat a different thoroughbred racehorse for dinner every day for the next three years. We're not saying that's what he did with the money of course, just that he should be man enough to come forward and admit it, and apologize to the foals for making them watch.
Twenty-plus years into his career, Dick was so broke that Robert Heinlein, an author who was his polar opposite, offered to buy him a typewriter. By the way, this was around the same time in his life that Dick began to believe he was traveling to ancient Rome, courtesy of a time travelling alien who visited him in his sleep.
Via Wikipedia Commons
"I'mf Philip K. Dick, and this terrifying android replica of me is less crazy than literally every sentence I ever uttered."