“It was a call from Morgan Wandell, who had worked with Frank Spotnitz before, asked him if there was any passion project that he’d been dying to do,” revealed The Man In The High Castle EP David Zucker on how The X-Files alum developed series based on Philip K. Dick’s 1962 alternative history novel came to fruition at Amazon. “Frank offered this one up, Morgan read it and we were shooting less than a year later.”
Scott Free Productions’ Zucker was joined onstage at a packed DGA Theater at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys all-day event on April 10 by fellow High Castle EP Isa Dick Hackett to discuss the first season of the series that depicts a world where the Axis won WW2 and America is divided between the barely civil Nazis and Imperial Japan. “We’ve had these conversations with Frank, who is very interested in reflecting our world in this alternative world,” pointed out the novelist’s daughter. Ridley Scott is an EP on the series too, along with Spotnitz, Zucker, Dick Hackett and several others.
With a banned film that shows a very different outcome to WW2 playing a pivotal part in High Castle, there’s a strong cast of Mob City’s Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans and Luke Kleintank with Rufus Sewell as ruthless Obergrupperfuhrer and All-American family man John Smith, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Trade Minister Nobusuke Tagomi.
Creating a world that is both terrifying and banal in its Norman Rockwell clocked evil in many ways, The Man In The High Castle debuted its 10-episode first season on November 20 last year. It proved to be one of the most streamed original series Amazon had ever had at that point, replicating the success of the pilot when it went up in January of that year. High Castle was renewed for a second season last December. That season is currently in production and expected to launch on Amazon later this year.
Click on the video above to watch my conversation last month with David Zucker and Isa Dick Hackett and enter a fascinating world that we are so fortunate to be able to watch but not live in real life.