An Education wasn’t Carey Mulligan‘s first film, but it’s the one that launched her to the top of every director’s wishlist. Since that coming-of-age tale opened in 2009, she’s been picking up one juicy role after another. This year saw her starring opposite Ryan Gosling in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive and earning praise for her bold performance in Steve McQueen’s Shame, and she’s currently at work playing the ultimate girl who got away in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.

Now she’s lining up her next two jobs, and they sound every bit as promising as her previous gigs: the Coen BrothersInside Llewyn Davis, and an untitled Spike Jonze picture. More details after the jump.

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We already knew a little bit about Frank or Francis, Charlie Kaufman‘s second directorial effort after his insanely ambitious, gloriously bizarre Synecdoche, New York. Basically, we were aware that it existed, that Nicolas Cage, Steve Carrell, and Jack Black had signed on, and that the film would revolve primarily around the feud between an Internet blogger and a Hollywood director. But this being Kaufman, of course, there was bound to be a whole lot more to the project than that.

Now, we have lots more details on the story — and the more I learn, the more I’m dying to see this film. After the jump, read all about the script, and find out which very weird role(s) Kevin Kline has just been cast in.

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A couple of bits of interesting but as-yet-unconfirmed casting news have cropped up this weekend. One concerns Naturi Naughton, star of NBC’s upcoming series The Playboy Club, who may be joining forces with Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine; the other, frequent Adam Sandler collaborator Kevin James, who could be working with director Charlie Kaufman in Frank or Francis. More details on both projects after the jump.

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Here’s a pretty great bit of news that doesn’t come from Comic Con: Charlie Kaufman‘s long-gestating Frank or Francis now has a possible cast. Jack Black and Nicolas Cage are now attached to the film, and Charlie Kaufman is in talks with Steve Carell to sign on, too. Read More »

After “quitting” acting in a big, public way, Joaquin Phoenix is navigating an impressive comeback. He’s currently shooting Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master and now he’s also attached to star in the latest collaboration between screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze. The film, an untitled political satire, is being financed by Megan Ellison‘s Annapurna Pictures and Warner Bros. has also reportedly come on board, aiming at a March 2012 start date. Read more after the break. Read More »

OK, we really need to send a giant ‘thank you’ bouquet to Megan Ellison. Her company, Annapurna Pictures, is reportedly financing two Paul Thomas Anderson films (The Master and Inherent Vice) and is backing Wong Kar Wai’s new film The Grandmasters as well as pictures like The Wettest County in the World and Cogan’s Trade. In short, if you like ambitious, literate films, she and her team are on your side.

Now the company is negotiating a deal for rights to “an untitled satire” that will mark the reunion of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation director and screenwriter Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman. Get a few more details after the break. Read More »

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If you’re among the rather rabid audience for which the mere combination of the names Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman causes excited palpitations, then you’d better lie down before reading any further. The two filmmakers, who teamed for Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, are reportedly circulating a new film pitch to financiers. There is no plot outline available, or any info at all. The LA Times reports the news, and notes that as the project exists in pitch form, there’s not even a script to share at this point.

And here we were, just earlier today, noting that a heady film like Synecdoche, New York or the theoretical Fellini-esque second half of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman project seemed like a difficult sell of late. And perhaps that’s the case — there’s no financing for this one yet. But fingers crossed that Jonze and Kaufman get financiers to bite. We can always use more conceptual, engaging movies like their previous two collaborations. Very much hoping this happens, and isn’t an overblown, too-early announcement of intent.

A few speculative, possibly connected details are after the break. Read More »


Your first reaction to that headline is probably going to be your jaw hitting the floor. But pick it up and relax. Yes, Charlie Kaufman has evidently done some script work on Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom. But it’s just a polish, not a major rewrite. Still, does this mean that we’ll see a wild sequence of exquisitely realized self-doubt in the film? Probably not (or probably not in the classic Kaufman mode) but read on anyway. Read More »

We Were Once A Fairytail

It was only a few weeks ago that I flew out to Los Angeles to talk with filmmaker Spike Jonze about his adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are. I really wasn’t expecting to hear back from Spike until the next film, probably a couple years down the line. Last week, Jonze’s new short film We Were Once a Fairytale leaked online, and the filmmaker wanted to touch base again and talk about the new project. So I got on the phone with the man himself, on his birthday no less, to talk about the short film starring Kayne West, which is now officially online on iTunes in both standard and high definition video (download it now). I also snuck in a few unrelated questions from Twitter, including a joke question from Up in the Air director Jason Reitman.

Spike Jonze: Peter. Hey, how are you doing?

Peter Sciretta: Hey, Spike. Good.  How are you doing?

Spike Jonze: Good, good.

Peter Sciretta: Happy birthday.

Spike Jonze: Thanks.  Yeah, it’s– I’m just leaving on a vacation.  So I had a great birthday, and then, I’m going to have a birthday trip.  So it’s all good.

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