Philip K. Dick’s Short Story ‘The Crawlers’ Adaptation in the Works (Exclusive)

Jason Lapeyre will direct the film for producers Edward R. Pressman and Isa Dick Hackett

Philip K Dick 'The Crawlers' Adaptation in the Works

A big screen adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story “The Crawlers” is in the works from producers Edward R. Pressman of Pressman Film and the author’s daughter, Isa Dick Hackett of Electric Shepherd Productions, TheWrap has learned.

Jason Lapeyre (“I Declare War”) will direct from a script by Kalen Egan and Travis Sentell.

Described as a riff on the small-town monster movie with a twist of Texas noir horror, “The Crawlers” is set in the late 1960s and follows a young government land-surveyor as he wanders off course into Boyle, Texas. After interacting with some of the strange, secretive residents, he follows a trail of disturbing rumors and unearths the town’s terrifying history, discovering that the townspeople aren’t the only residents of Boyle.

Pressman Film’s COO Jon Katz will executive produce with co-writer Egan, who happens to be a development executive at Electric Shepherd. Pressman Film’s director of development Melissa Robyn Glassman will serve as co-producer.

Contemporary visual artist Patricia Piccinini will design the creatures, and Emmy-winning makeup artist & creature designer Steve Johnson (“War of the Worlds”) is on board to do the visual and creature effects along with his partner, filmmaker Robert L. Lucas, and their team at Brick and Mortar Productions.

“As a long-time fan of Philip K. Dick’s storytelling, I am honored to partner with his daughter, Isa, to bring this unique piece of his work to the screen,” said Pressman. “Jason Lapeyre’s vision combined with artist Patricia Piccinini’s haunting designs and Steve Johnson’s special effects savvy makes this the perfect team to do the job.”

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with extraordinary independent filmmaker Ed Pressman to produce ‘The Crawlers,’” said Hackett. “His contributions elevate this project in every way. ‘The Crawlers,’ a psychological horror film in the tradition of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ and ‘Don’t Look Now,’ is the first horror film based on my father’s work. His grand theme around what it means to be human is fully examined in this dark and poignant tale.”

“Brick and Mortar is thrilled to have the opportunity to develop a never-before-seen hybrid of both practical and digital FX to bring the creatures to life,” added Johnson.

Pressman recently wrapped “The Man Who Knew Infinity” starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons, and he’s currently developing an adaptation Edward Abbey’s book “The Monkey Wrench Gang,” which will be written and directed by “Catfish” filmmakers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. Pressman is also developing a reboot of “The Crow” with Relativity, a “Bloodsport” remake that will be directed by James McTeigue and the drama “Happy Valley,” which will star Al Pacino as the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

Hackett is the founder and CEO of Electric Shepherd Productions who served as an executive producer on “The Adjustment Bureau,” which was based on one of her father’s short stories. As a producer, she’s currently developing “Ubik” with Anonymous Content, and she’s also an executive producer on “The Man in the High Castle,” a television pilot that Electric Shepherd is co-producing with Ridley Scott‘s company Scott Free for Amazon Studios.

Lapeyre’s first feature, the gritty crime thriller “Cold Blooded,” won Best Canadian Film at Fantasia 2012. His second feature, “I Declare War,” was an official selection of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and won the Audience Award for Best Film at Fantastic Fest the same year. It was later released theatrically by Drafthouse Films. He’s represented by APA in Los Angeles and Vanguarde Artists in Toronto.

Katz negotiated the deals on behalf of Pressman Film, while Chris Tricarico negotiated on behalf of Electric Shepherd Productions.