Charlie Kaufman to Rewrite IQ 83 for Steve Carell to Star

     October 22, 2014

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It looks like Charlie Kaufman and Steve Carell may work together after all.  Carell was originally set to star in the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind scribe’s excellent-sounding musical Frank or Francis, but the feature was postponed due to lack of financing.  He then turned his attention to the FX pilot How and Why, only to see the network pass on picking it up to series earlier this year.  Now Kaufman has been tapped to rewrite a star vehicle for Carell, and it sounds kind of great.  The Adaptation. and Being John Malkovich screenwriter will pen an adaptation of Arthur Herzog’s science-fiction novel IQ 83, which revolves around the outbreak of a disease that is slowly making everyone dumber.  More after the jump.

Deadline reports that Paramount has hired Kaufman to do a page one rewrite of IQ 83, which is being developed as a star vehicle for Carell.  The lead role is that of Dr. James Healey, who led a group of scientists that conducted DNA experiments which subsequently unleashed an airborne disease that progressively lowers the IQ of those infected.  Healey must work quickly to right this wrong, as he himself starts to succumb to the effects of the outbreak.

The premise is very Idiocracy, but with Kaufman aboard I’m sure we’re in for something wholly original and delightfully odd.  While the book was written as straight sci-fi, the plan is for Kaufman’s take to lean more on the side of scathing satire in the vein of Dr. Strangelove.  It’s unknown if Kaufman might also direct the film (he made his directorial debut with 2008’s Synecdoche, New York), but Paramount won’t be focusing on filling the director’s seat until he finishes the script. Kaufman has just now been signed to the project so it may be a while before we hear an update, but I’ll be crossing my fingers that this one comes to fruition.  It’s been too long.

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