Charlie Kaufman on ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’, ‘Slaughterhouse Five’, and Future Stop-Motion Movies

     September 6, 2020


With Charlie Kaufman’s new movie I’m Thinking of Ending Things now streaming on Netflix, I recently spoke to the gifted filmmaker about a myriad of subjects. During the wide-ranging conversation, Kaufman talked about making the movie at Netflix, how his work leaves a lot open for the viewer to decide, what it was like in the editing room, why he doesn’t get nervous watching early cuts of the film, who he trusts for honest feedback, the challenges of filming the long driving scenes, and so much more. In addition, he talked about what happened to his adaptation of Slaughterhouse Five with Guillermo del Toro, if he’s thought about making future stop-motion movies, his possible HBO limited series based on the novel IQ 83, and more.


Image via Netflix

I’m Thinking of Ending Things is based on Iain Reid’s acclaimed novel of the same name and follows an unnamed woman (Buckley) as she accompanies her boyfriend, Jake (Plemons), on a trip back to his childhood home to meet his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis). Trust me, there is a lot more to this movie than what I just wrote and after you’ve finished watching you’ll definitely want to talk to someone about it.

Check out what he had to say below and further down the page is exactly what we talked about, the official synopsis and recent trailer.


Image via Netflix

Charlie Kaufman:

  • How he ended up making the movie at Netflix.
  • What was it like collaborating with Netflix?
  • Does he usually listen to the notes given by the studio?
  • What TV series would he like to guest write and direct?
  • What movie has he seen the most?
  • How his work leaves a lot open for the viewer to decide.
  • What as his reaction to the footage when he got into the editing room?
  • Who does he trust for honest feedback?
  • How long was his first cut compared to the finished film?
  • What was the last scene he cut out of the film before they picture locked?
  • Why they didn’t use Dairy Queen in the movie.
  • Has he thought about doing anything more in the world of stop-motion after making Anomalisa?
  • If he could get the financing for any project what would he make and why?
  • How he’s developing a limited series for HBO that causes stupidity which is based on the novel IQ 83.
  • What happened to making Slaughterhouse Five with Guillermo del Toro?
  • im-thinking-of-ending-things-buckley-plemons-snow-car

    Image via Netflix

    What it was like filming the driving sequences in I’m Thinking of Ending Things?

  • How many takes does he like to do when filming?
  • What was he nervous about being able to pull off with the time and budget?

Here’s the official I’m Thinking of Ending Things synopsis and recent trailer:

Despite second thoughts about their relationship, a young woman (Jessie Buckley) takes a road trip with her new boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to his family farm. Trapped at the farm during a snowstorm with Jake’s mother (Toni Collette) and father (David Thewlis), the young woman begins to question the nature of everything she knew or understood about her boyfriend, herself, and the world. An exploration of regret, longing and the fragility of the human spirit, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is directed and written by Academy Award winner Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Inspired by Iain Reid’s bestselling namesake novel.


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