Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze Pitching New Film; Plus New Details on Kaufman’s Script, FRANK OR FRANCIS
by Jake Horowitz Posted: December 16th, 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.
Kaufman 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.
by Matt Goldberg Posted: December 16th, 2010
Gravity, the first film from director Alfonso Cuaron since Children of Men, has had its share of struggles in trying to get to the big screen. The story features a female lead character who is by herself for the majority of film. The film, which is about an astronaut trying to return to Earth after a disaster in space, was originally set to star Angelina Jolie and Robert Downey Jr., but then Jolie dropped out. Warner Bros. required a bankable actress for the part and eventually Sandra Bullock signed on to the film…only to have Robert Downey Jr. drop out shortly thereafter due to scheduling conflicts. Downey was set to play another astronaut who survives the disaster. Now Heat Vision is reporting that George Clooney has come to the rescue of the project and will play the role, which, while not major, is pivotal in the first act of the film.
Hit the jump for more on Clooney’s schedule and where Gravity will fit in.
According to Heat Vision, Warner Bros. plans to begin shooting on Gravity in the spring after Clooney has wrapped directing on The Ides of March, which is an adaptation of the stage play Farragut North. Clooney is also circling an adaptation of the 1960s TV spy series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. with Steven Sodebergh directing.
While I’m bummed that Downey left Gravity, you’ll hear no complaints from me regarding Clooney as a replacement. With two fantastic leads, let’s hope that the film finally launches without any more problems.
by Matt Goldberg Posted: December 16th, 2010
We have received a press release announcing that the sci-fi thriller Source Code will open the 2011 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival. Directed by Duncan Jones (Moon), the film follows a soldier (Jake Gyllenhaal) who wakes up in the body of a stranger and keeps reliving the last eight minutes of the man’s life in order to discover who was responsible for bombing a train in an attempt to prevent the bomber’s next attack. Like just about anyone who saw Moon, I can’t wait to see what Jones has pulled off this time, and the trailer makes the film look smart and intense.
Hit the jump for the full press release. The 2011 SXSW Film Conference and Festival runs from March 11 – 19th in Austin, Texas. Source Code opens nationwide April 1, 2011.
Here’s the press release:
Austin, Texas – December 16, 2010 – Earlier today, the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival announced it will host the world premiere of the Summit Entertainment film Source Code for its 2011 Opening Night. The smart action thriller is the second feature from SXSW Alum Duncan Jones (Moon), and stars Jake Gyllenhaal (Love and Other Drugs, Brokeback Mountain), Michelle Monaghan (Eagle Eye, Due Date), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, The Departed) and Jeffrey Wright (Quantum of Solace, Syriana). The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival runs March 11 – 19, 2011 in Austin, Texas.
When decorated soldier Captain Colter Stevens (Gyllenhaal) wakes up in the body of an unknown man, he discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. In an assignment unlike any he’s ever known, he learns he’s part of a government experiment called the “Source Code,” a program that enables him to cross over into another man’s identity in the last 8 minutes of his life. With a second, much larger target threatening to kill millions in downtown Chicago, Colter re-lives the incident over and over again, gathering clues each time, until he can solve the mystery of who is behind the bombs and prevent the next attack.
Opening in theaters nationwide on April 1, 2011, the film was written by Ben Ripley. A Mark Gordon Company production, and presented by Vendóme Pictures, the film was produced by Mark Gordon, Philippe Rousselet and Jordan Wynn, with Hawk Koch, Jeb Brody, and Fabrice Gianfermi executive producing.
“We are delighted to welcome Duncan Jones back to SXSW. His debut Moon showed an intelligence, skill, and exceptional use of limited resources that’s exactly the kind of filmmaking we love to support,” said Film Conference and Festival Producer Janet Pierson. “Source Code is a terrific follow-up; it’s a smart, suspenseful thriller, and a perfect fit for our 2011 Opening Night!”