The Adjustment Bureau | EW.com

Movies

The Adjustment Bureau

STARRING Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Terence Stamp, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery
DIRECTED BY George Nolfi
WRITTEN BY Philip K. Dick and George Nolfi

What kind of movie is The Adjustment Bureau? ”It crosses so many different borders and genre styles,” says costar Emily Blunt, ”that it’s hard to say.” Director George Nolfi, who makes his feature debut, also finds the film hard to pin down. ”There’s a little bit of a political drama, but primarily it is a love story,” he says. ”Combined with a fantastical premise. Combined with a chase thriller. Kind of.” Matt Damon just laughs. ”If the director can’t answer that question,” he says, ”I don’t know what to say, other than it’s a really tough movie to pitch.”

Well, let’s start with what we do know. Damon plays a politician who falls in love with a ballet dancer (Blunt), but their relationship is star-crossed, since the titular bureau, a shadowy collective of fedora-sporting agents acting as the arbiters of fate, is trying to keep them apart. Whew. And while it’s based very loosely on a Philip K. Dick short story, Nolfiinsists the film isn’t really science fiction. ”Sci-fi to me conjures up lasers and spaceships and time travel,” he says. ”This movie is told very realistically.”

So realistically, in fact, that Blunt had to train for months in contemporary ballet. ”It was terrifying at first,” she remembers, ”because I’d never donned a pair of ballet slippers in my life.” Damon, however, got off easy. ”Normally, I’m the one that has to do all these crazy physical things for the role, so it was nice to be able to sit back and have it be somebody else this time.”


By the Numbers
Many films have been based on the work of Philip K. Dick. Here’s how they ranked at the domestic box office.*

Blade Runner (1982)
$27.5 million

Total Recall (1990)
$119.4 million

Screamers (1996)
$5.7 million

Minority Report (2002)
$132 million

A Scanner Darkly (2006)
$5.5 million

Next (2007)
$18.2 million

*All figures from Box Office Mojo, based on first theatrical release