Bong Joon Ho is best known for making the 2003 film, House of Gucci, which stars Robert Pattinson. He also had a small role in the 2012 film, The Impossible, which stars Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts. Now, he has signed on to write and direct a new movie, The Man in the High Castle, based on the popular alternative history novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick. The novel follows the travails of two conflicting political organizations: the America First Party and the Nazi Party, as they vie for control of a planet devastated by World War II.
The Man in the High Castle: A Film to Remember
While the novel doesn’t explicitly lay out how the film adaptation will differ from the book, it’s safe to assume that the movie will streamline and compress the text’s sprawling narrative. That being said, it will retain the essential story beats, including an emphasis on world-class costume design and production values. For example, the cinematography alone is worth a watch; it’s by the same cinematographer, Dante Spinotti (The Hobbit, Paradise), who shot both the book and the 1974 miniseries adaptation. Additionally, several of the novel’s major locations have been recreated in-house, including San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the Palace Hotel in Los Angeles, the Arizona desert, and the Eiffel Tower. That means the movie will look as good as the books, if not better. And let’s not forget about the score, composed by Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight, Inception).
The Many Ways in Which This Film Is Different
Based on the book, which was published in 1962, The Man in the High Castle is an alternate history thriller in which America and the Allies lose the Second World War to Fascists and Nazis. One might assume going into this adaptation that it would largely be a vehicle for Pattinson, who is one of the most in-demand leading men in Hollywood. However, while he will undoubtedly enjoy the chance to play a character in early 1960s San Francisco, he won’t be the only member of the cast with a marquee role. For instance, the aforementioned Dante Spinotti has been chosen to direct his first movie for over two decades, based on a story by Bong Joon Ho. Additionally, the movie will see a relatively unknown actress, Ruth Wilson, cast as the lead female character. Finally, the script will be reworked by Joe Caracciolo, who was an uncredited writer on the 2008 film, National Treasure.
With so many iconic films, songs, and TV shows focusing on the Holocaust, it seems impossible to make a film about World War II without comparisons to previous cinematic portrayals of the event. However, The Man in the High Castle represents a rare opportunity to bring a popular novel about post-war Germany and the Cold War to the big screen. In a world where historical fiction is becoming increasingly common, it’s about time that a film company decides to give Philip K. Dick’s book the cinematic adaptation it deserves.