I’m tempted to say that this news tidbit about Charlie Kaufman scripting a new take on Kurt Vonnegut‘s Slaughterhouse Five for Guillermo del Toro is the most ideal pairing you’ll read about today. Guillermo del Toro has been kicking around ideas for a Slaughterhouse Five adaptation for Universal for some time, thanks to a multi-picture deal he signed a few years back. It’s not one we’ve heard much about; At the Mountains of Madness took precedence after he left The Hobbit, and then there was Pacific Rim, Crimson Peak, and that possible Frankenstein adaptation. (More on that last one in a minute.)
Now the director says he’s got a vision for adapting the book — which features WWII soldier Billy Pilgrim, who becomes “unstuck in time,” living through periods of his life in haphazard fashion.And Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation, Synecdoche, NY) could write it… when the money is there. Read More »
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Before we knew and loved him for the films Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Synecdoche, New York, Charlie Kaufman wrote for TV. Shows like Get a Life, The Dana Carvey Show and The Edge were among the efforts that had Kaufman’s unique voice on board. Now he’s returning to the small screen.
Kaufman is developing a sitcom for FX called How and Why, which is “about a man who can describe the ins and outs of a nuclear reactor but is clueless about life.” He’ll write and direct the pilot episode and executive produce the show going forward. The show doesn’t have a full order yet, just a pilot, but if Kaufman’s recent film work is any indication, there’s a good shot this show will fit right into FX’s current, quirky line up that includes American Horror Story, Louie and Wilfred. [Vulture]
Some projects sound too good to be true. Lucky for us, we live in an age where they don’t have to be.
Of course, such optimism does little to counter the realities of the modern film industry model, which is currently taking its toll on Charlie Kaufman‘s sophomore directorial effort Frank or Francis (currently stuck in development limbo), just as it did At the Mountains of Madness before it, and hundreds of other please-let-this-happen endeavors that failed to scrounge up the financing necessary to be brought to fruition.
But what of more budget-conscious efforts? With marketing and director Guillermo del Toro‘s proposed $150 million price tag, At the Mountains of Madness was looking at a cost of well over $200 million. Comparatively, getting Charlie Kaufman‘s latest screenplay produced requires a paltry 200 grand investment. And thanks to Kickstarter, you can contribute however much or little as you deem appropriate in order to help make this dream project a reality. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 by Angie Han
While any new work from Charlie Kaufman would’ve automatically piqued our interest, the more we heard about his second directorial effort Frank or Francis — musical numbers! animatronic robot heads! “ghost-like thumbs with a Romanian political agenda”! — the more intriguingly bizarre it sounded. Add in a top-shelf cast including Steve Carell, Jack Black, Kevin Kline, Catherine Keener, and Elizabeth Banks, and Frank or Francis was shaping up to become an absolute must-see.
But alas, it seems the project isn’t meant to be, or at least not yet. After months of the actors expressing their excitement for the project but admitting they didn’t know when it’d actually get going, Banks has finally confirmed that Frank or Francis has fallen apart. Read her comments after the jump.
UPDATE: The Playlist has heard from Kaufman’s reps, who say only that Frank or Francis is “postponed” for the time being.
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Posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 by Angie Han
Technically, HBO is television, no matter what their highfalutin slogan claims, but when they make room for wonderful ideas like this one I can kind of see their point. Charlie Kaufman and Catherine Keener, who last worked together on Kaufman’s directorial debut Synecdoche, New York, are set to team up at the premium cable channel for a new half-hour comedy. Keener is set to star and produce, while Kaufman will write, direct, and executive produce. More details after the jump.
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Time to give Lionsgate a round of applause. The studio is already preparing for the days when The Hunger Games is over, and one YA property being groomed as the Next Big Thing is the Patrick Ness series Chaos Walking, about a dystopian future in which all human thought is made audible, leading to great chaos.
It’s a pretty high-concept thing, but it also, almost, sounds like the sort of movie that Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry might have created together. Now wait — to pen the adaptation of the first book, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Lionsgate and Quadrant Pictures have actually hired Charlie Kaufman! Read More »
Posted on Monday, January 30th, 2012 by Angie Han
Starting with Being John Malkovich, Charlie Kaufman‘s scripts have generally attracted top-level talent, and a quick glance at the cast list indicates that Frank or Francis will be no exception. Elizabeth Banks and Paul Reubens have just become the latest additions to Kaufman’s Hollywood-skewering musical satire, joining Steve Carell, Jack Black, Nicolas Cage, Catherine Keener, and Kevin Kline. Read more after the jump.
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Charlie Kaufman writes screenplays that are tricky and intricate, and they attract great actors who like to work with material that is both fun and challenging. Kaufman is planning to direct his second film, Frank or Francis, which he also wrote, and the movie has already lined up Steve Carell, Jack Black, Nicolas Cage, and Kevin Kline to play of roles that are characteristically Kaufman, which is to say: earnest and familiar but also exaggerated to a point of almost insane eccentricity.
Now the film has added Kate Winslet and Catherine Keener, both of whom have received Oscar nominations for performing in films written by Kaufman. (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich, respectively.) Read More »
Posted on Thursday, December 15th, 2011 by Angie Han
Since breaking out with Being John Malkovich in 1999, Charlie Kaufman has developed a reputation as one of the most creative, ambitious screenwriters working today. After earning acclaim for projects like Adaptation. and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, he made his directorial debut in 2008 with the wildly imaginative Synecdoche, New York. He is now working on his second directorial effort, Frank or Francis, and also has a political satire in the works with Spike Jonze attached to direct.
BAFTA recently invited Kaufman to talk about his craft as part of a lecture series called “Screenwriters On Screenwriting,” and in typical Kaufman style, the resulting talk is honest, philosophical, meandering, and a little bit messy — in a good way. Hit the jump for highlights and a link to the full video and transcript.
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