Visionary writer-director Richard Linklater (DAZED AND CONFUSED, BOYHOOD) dove head first into A SCANNER DARKLY’s visually stylized adaptation of author Philip K. Dick’s novel of the same name, which tells the story of identity and deception in a near-future dystopia constantly under intrusive high-technology police surveillance in the midst of a drug addiction epidemic. Linklater opted for the use of animation and interpolated rotoscope, a technique in which artists trace over the original footage frame by frame, to achieve a distinctive look to complement the novel’s thematic overtones. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr. and Woody Harrelson.
“In the near future, as America virtually loses the war on drugs, Robert Arctor (Keanu Reeves), a narcotics cop in Orange County, Calif., is undercover so deep that he has become an addict. He is wooing Donna (Winona Ryder), a dealer, to ferret out her supplier. At the same time, he receives orders to spy on his housemates (Robert Downey Jr.), (Woody Harrelson), (Rory Cochrane) ), one of whom is suspected of being Donna’s biggest customer.”