Bryan Cranston to Be Stuck in Philip K. Dick Nightmares in New Anthology Series


Channel 4 announced this morning that Bryan Cranston has signed on to star in a “hugely ambitious” 10 part anthology series for the UK network based on the short stories of acclaimed sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick, who’s provided the film and television worlds with a fare share of their most affecting sci-fi visions. (Most recently The Man in the High Castle, and most memorably, Blade Runner, A Scanner Darkly, Total Recall and Minority Report).

Because each episode of the 10 part series — titled Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K. Dick — is said to be a standalone, and because Cranston’s been referred to as “starring” in the series, it doesn’t seem farfetched to assume that he’ll appear in multiple episodes, and thus as multiple characters in multiple horrific dystopias. (Imprisonment in Philip K. Dick’s hells seems a fair sentence for Walter White — and great news for all of us who’ve been somewhat bummed seeing Cranston’s talent devoted to straightforward biopics lately.)

Cranston is executive producing alongside a gaggle of other exec producers, many of whom worked on The Man in the High Castle — including Dick’s daughter, Isa Dick Hackett, who said in a statement:

I’m thrilled to be working with this exceptional team to bring my father’s short stories to life. Often the source for big, high concept feature films, these short stories represent some of the most dazzling conceptual work of his career…

Outlander/Battlestar Gallactica’s Ronald D. Moore and Masters of Sex’s Michael Dinner are writing the series for the network on which Black Mirror got its start, with the aim of “adapt[ing] and moderniz[ing Dick’s] singular vision for a TV audience,” according to Channel 4’s chief creative officer Jay Hunt. Sony Pictures Television is set to distribute the show internationally.

“This is an electric dream come true,” said Cranston in Channel 4’s press release. “We are so thrilled to be able to explore and expand upon the evergreen themes found in the incredible work of this literary master.”