The Philip K Dick novel that ultimately became the movie Blade Runner was titled, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
So it makes you wonder, wherever Dick is, what would he think of actually becoming a replicant android himself?
I first learned about this interesting turn of events in the L.A. Times Book Review section where they covered a book titled How to Build an Android: The True Story of Philip K. Dick’s Robotic Resurrection.
The book was written by David F. Dufty, and is now on store shelves courtesy of Henry Holt publishers. Apparently the project to bring Dick back to life via modern robotic technology kicked off in 2005. The robot wore his clothes, and they even tried to give it a language by drawing on interviews with Dick and his short stories.
The robot won a prize at Carnegie Mellon University, but then someone stole its head. As the Times writes, “It was, perhaps, the most Philip K. Dick of endings to a very Phlip K. Dick story.” In fact, someone should bring this to Ridley Scott’s attention, this could make a great movie, no? (Bring Me the Robotic Head of Philip K. Dick?) With a title like How to Build an Android, it could also be a shoe-in for Pixar…
The idea for a Philip K Dick robot came together with David Hanson, who was a sculptor, and he accidentally lost the head from absent minded exhaustion after going to robot expos. God knows who could could have stolen it, or what they’d do with it. Such speculation could ultimately branch off into another movie, where the head falls into the wrong hands, and like the arm in Terminator it’s used to build an evil cyborg who happens to look like a classic sci-fi author.
So wherever Philip Dick is right now, I bet you anything he’s laughing at the irony of it all, along with enjoying the second life his work has had with the cult of Blade Runner, the remake of Total Recall, and more. And if you find Dick’s robotic head, please return it to its creator. Don’t be a downer and put it up for auction on Ebay, although that would be another funny irony you could add to a potential movie about all this. Is Charlie Kaufman available to write the screenplay?