Steve Carell may step up to the challenge of a Charlie Kaufman script.
Now there’s a group of interesting onscreen presences. Deadline says that Nicolas Cage and Jack Black are already set to star in the next film from writer/director Charlie Kaufman. Steve Carell is in talks to join the cast as well (do it, Steve! Please, for me!). The film is called “Frank or Francis” and that’s all we know. I’m guessing that a logline probably wouldn’t help much.*
Kaufman wrote “Being John Malkovich,” “Adaptation,” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” He then made his directorial debut with his script for “Synecdoche, NY.” I admit I’m a fan–”Malkovich” had a “what will they think of next?” quality to it that was a lot of fun. “Adaptation” is a fascinating movie because the ending is bad–and it couldn’t be any other way (they show scenes from the tedious, unimaginative action flick one of Nicolas Cage’s characters has been writing and, well, it is tedious and unimaginative. The point is made). “Eternal Sunshine” was my favorite movie of the 2000s. “Synecdoche, NY,” well, I admired it more than I loved it. My feeling was that it was too long–for me. I felt like, “Okay, I’ve got it–no really, I see what you’re doing,” about two-thirds of the way through. I could have lived with less, but I understand Kaufman was making a movie about a life, and that including everything was part of that plan. It was a little much for me, but, like I said, I admire the thought and ambition.
Anyway, Cage, whose career lately has taken on a bit of a “will work for food” feel, starred in Kaufman’s “Adaptation,” back during one of Cage’s more artistically successful periods. Deadline notes that Black has worked with Kaufman in a way–Kaufman did some script doctor work on “Kung Fu Panda 2.” An astute commenter on the Deadline post says that Kaufman worked on the short lived “The Dana Carvey Show” (seriously short lived, like 5 episodes), where Carell was part of the cast, an impressive piece of trivia. Someone who knows the credits for “The Dana Carvey Show” cold. I have a friend who was an extra on one of the episodes. I wonder if said commenter knows her name.
But I ramble–the thought is that this will begin filming in 2012. Other than that, I’ve got nothing on it. I should note that Jack Black starred in the indie film “Bernie,” from Richard Linklater, and I don’t know if that has (or, oh dead, had) a release date. He has “The Muppets” coming out later this year, as well as “The Big Year” with Steve Martin and Jim Parsons amongst others. Carell’s “Crazy Stupid Love” (or is it “Crazy Stupid Love?” I’ve seen both–I’d go without the commas myself) is coming out next week and then is booked for multiple other projects. Cage is…I don’t know if I’m up to the Cage filmography. It’s too hot.
*Update! Apparently Deadline reported a few months ago that “Frank or Francis” will be a musical about a filmmaker and the blogger who constantly insults him. I’m guessing there’s a bit more to it than that.