A Scanner Darkly at Comic-Con 2005 #1


Warner Independent Pictures kicked off the movie track at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego with a preview of the animated adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly, which will star Keanu Reeves, Woody Harrelson, Robert Downey Jr. and Winona Ryder. The film is written and directed by Richard Linklater, using a similar animation process as he used on Waking Life.

The drug-related story takes place in Orange County, California where America has lost the war on drugs and an undercover cop (Reeves) needs to spy on his friends causing him to suffer from paranoid delusions. The novel is based on Dick’s own experiences with drugs.

Producer Tommy Pallotta, who also produced Waking Life, was at Comic-Con with four of the lead animators for the project: Sterling Allen, Evan Cagle, Nick Derrington, and Christopher Jennings, as well as a android of creator Philip K. Dick, who wasn’t quite working yet and just kind of sat there.

They debuted a new trailer for the film, as well as showing a clip in which Robert Downey Jr.’s character came in with an “18-speed bike” that he bought for $50, and he has a deep conversation with Keanu, Wynona and Woody Harrelson’s character about it.

The producer taked a bit about why the film was delayed because the studio set a release date without asking how long it would take to finish it. He said that he was working with different animators then they used on Waking Life, and though it would use a similar proprietary rotoscoping technique, it was a very different style of animation.

They claimed that it would be the “most faithful adaptation of a Philip K. Dick book ever.”

Look for more on this film, including interviews with Palotta and the animators soon. A Scanner Darkly is scheduled for release in March 2006.