What We Learned About Amazon’s Man in the High Castle from NYCC (That We Didn’t Already Know)

Aubry D'Arminio
Rufus Sewell - The Man in the High Castle
Liana Hentcher/Amazon Studios

Anyone who’s been following the production of Amazon’s upcoming adaptation of sci-fi novelist Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle knows the 10-episode series depicts an alternate version of history in which the Germans and Japanese won World War II. They know it’s the first screen version of the difficult novel, which came out over five decades ago, and shows an imperialist and fascist United States. And that the project itself has been in the works for 10 years. But when showrunner Frank Spotnitz and castmembers Alexa Davalos (Juliana Crain), DJ Qualls (Ed McCarthy), Joel de la Fuente (Inspector Kido) and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mr. Tagomi) appeared at New York Comic Con this Friday, they had a little more to say, including:

  1. It was a family affair: According to Spotnitz, like Dick consulted the I Ching when making choices regarding the books plot, he consulted Dick’s daughter Isa (an executive producer) on every major decision concerning the series.
  1. Fuente’s Inspector Ido, who orchestrates some of the most shocking violence in the first two episodes, will become a little more likeable, or at least more sympathetic. Okay, maybe just “not as bad.”
  1. Quall contends the cast was told that by no means would the show’s production move to Canada after the pilot (which was shot in Seattle). They ended up in Vancouver starting with Episode 2.
  1. Pilot director David Semel pursued Qualls to play the part of San Francisco metal worker McCarthy after the actor declined to audition for the role. “The phone rang and it was David Semel going, ‘What the F is your problem?” the actor says.
  1. While the show has yet to be officially renewed, Spotnitz has already started work on the second season, which will expand the story to outside the United States, as well as further explore the fates of Jewish and African Americans living under Japanese and German rule.

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