Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze Pitching New Film; Plus New Details on Kaufman’s Script, FRANK OR FRANCIS

     December 16, 2010


Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze, writer and director, respectively, of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation., are pitching a new movie around Hollywood. While the script hasn’t yet been written, one can be assured that it will incorporate some sort of meta or mind-meltingly incredible premise.

The plot is being kept under wraps, but seems to be separate from Kaufman’s script Frank or Francis, which he has been working on since finishing Synecdoche, New York in 2008. According to the LA Times, two people familiar with the project say that in recent weeks it has been making rounds to independent financiers. Hit the jump for more info on both projects.

adaptation_movie_image_nicolas_cage_01Kaufman and Jonze’s latest collaboration was back in 2002 with Adaptation., which received four Oscar nominations, including Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Being John Malkovich, their first outing together, was likewise nominated for an Oscar for best screenplay, as well as best director.

In 2008, Jonze was set to direct Synecdoche, which Kaufman had written, but instead went on to Where the Wild Things Are. Kaufman instead took the directing chair for his first time and created his most elaborate, meta, and unconventional film to date.

As Kaufman’s films seem to get more and more complex, his newest script seems to be no exception. Frank or Francis follows a commercially successful director who resents his success and wants to be considered an auteur. This would be the opposite of Kaufman’s life, who is in fact considered an auteur and has no immensely commercial hits to speak of (although he did some rewrite work for Kung Fu Panda 2).

Kaufman has written himself into at least one of his movies, Adaptation., with great success, and if anyone knows how to pull together a movie about a movie where the character is the writer but is also the character in a movie about his movie, it’s Kaufman…the writer…or maybe the character. As Shirley on Community said, “Come on, Charlie Kaufman. Some of us have work in the morning.”

Frank or Francis had been set up as a Sony project, but according to people close to the script, they do not appear to be moving forward on it at the moment. In the meantime, neither Jonze nor Kaufman have any other upcoming projects they are tied to, so their collaboration together may very well be the next thing they work on.

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