The Man in the High Castle is Amazon’s newest runaway hit, and as is the case with most distributors, Amazon has been pretty hands on with the production of the series based on Philip K. Dick’s alternative history story. For Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), who was responsible for developing The Man in the High Castle for television and has since served as series showrunner, Amazon may have been just a little too hands on.
The Man In The High Castle Faces Season 2 With No Showrunner
Once upon a time, it was said that the Nazis were akin to a snake and to cut off the head of the Nazi party, meaning Adolf Hitler of course, would have ended World War II fairly quickly and most efficiently. The Man in the High Castle, which tells the story of an alternate history in which the Axis Powers win WWII, is facing a similar predicament, following Frank Spotnitz’s departure from the series. Although details are scarce, news that Spotnitz left the project just as The Man in the High Castle was getting into Season 2 production has been confirmed, and sources report that there was a clash over production between Spotnitz and Amazon heads over the production of the series.
Frank’s sudden departure has left The Man in the High Castle without a lead, and although the remaining production team is stepping up to pick up the slack left by Spotnitz’s departure, a two week or more delay in production is still expected.
Amazon has been quick to respond to the publicized news of Frank Spotnitz’s departure from The Man in the High Castle, and while the streaming service seems eager to assure fans that Frank will keep a hand in the Philip K. Dick-based show, Spotnitz may only be involved as an executive producer in name, simply to allay the concerns of fans.
“Given the ambition and scope of the series, the decision has been made to locate all creative efforts on The Man in the High Castle to the west coast; Frank Spotnitz will remain as an Executive Producer and step back from showrunner,” Amazon said in the issued statement. “His responsibilities will be managed by our deep and talented bench of producers. We are enormously grateful to him for bringing our customers on one of the most watched original shows on Amazon Video and we are excited about the team’s vision for season two.”
Frank Spotnitz Saved The Man In The High Castle From Certain Doom
Mr. Spotnitz served no small function in bringing The Man in the High Castle to life. Prior to Frank’s diligence in developing the series for television, the concept of a television series based on Dick’s alternative history saga lingered around so long that the options on Dick’s novel was nearly expired. Recognizing the time constraints, Spotnitz quickly developed the pilot and, together with Isa Dick Hackett and Scott Free Productions’ Ridley Scott and David Zucker, managed to sign Amazon on as distributor.
Soon afterwards, The Man in the High Castle premiered to delighted critics and broke a record for original content produced by streaming services. Alexa Davalos, Luke Kleintank, Rufus Sewell, Rupert Evans, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa are among the talents responsible for earning The Man in the High Castle a second season. Previously, Frank had given signs that he wasn’t happy with the limitations placed on him in bringing The Man in the High Castle to television, suggesting that the story itself was far too complex to be translated into any medium, other than a novel.
“It’s such a giant narrative, and you’re serving so many characters and story lines. I would like to spend more time with every single one of them, you know,” Spotnitz said. “My problem with the show all along is there has been more stories than I have time, and it’s just prioritizing. That’s why, when I started thinking about season 2, it was not a struggle for me. It was like, ‘Oh yeah, I want to do this, and I want to do this and this and this,’ so I have lots I’m excited to pursue.”
The Man in the High Castle is expected to premiere Season 2 later this year.
[Image by Amazon]