Charlie Kaufman is making the jump to Netflix. The wildly talented writer of films like Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and director Syncedoche, New York and the unforgettable stop-motion animated Anomalisa appears to have found his next project, and it’s a Netflix original.
Variety reports that Kaufman will write and direct a film adaptation of the Iain Reid novel I’m Thinking of Ending Things for Netflix, which revolves around a couple who go on a road trip but make an unexpected detour. Described as unnerving and suspenseful, the source material sounds perfect for Kaufman’s sensibility, and one imagines at Netflix a filmmaker of his stature will have plenty of creative freedom.
Kaufman previously flirted with blockbuster fare by writing a draft of Chaos Walking, the YA adaptation that now stars Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley and was directed by Doug Liman. Kaufman has been candid about his frustration with financing in the past, but this deal shows how streaming services like Netflix can bring somewhat less commercial efforts like this to fruition.
Indeed, Netflix has been making big swings as of late, scoring the next feature film from director Martin Scorsese, The Irishman. Kaufman’s only directed two movies, but both of them were great and wholly original, so I can’t wait to see what be brings to the table with I’m Thinking of Ending Things.
Here’s the description for I’m Thinking of Ending Things:
I’m thinking of ending things. Once this thought arrives, it stays. It sticks. It lingers. It’s always there. Always.
Jake once said, “Sometimes a thought is closer to truth, to reality, than an action. You can say anything, you can do anything, but you can’t fake a thought.”
And here’s what I’m thinking: I don’t want to be here.
In this “dark and compelling…unputdownable” (Booklist, starred review) literary thriller, debut novelist Iain Reid explores the depths of the human psyche, questioning consciousness, free will, the value of relationships, fear, and the limitations of solitude. Reminiscent of Jose Saramago’s early work, Michel Faber’s cult classic Under the Skin, and Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk about Kevin, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is an edgy, haunting debut. Tense, gripping, and atmospheric, this novel “packs a big psychological punch with a twisty story line and an ending that will leave readers breathless” (Library Journal, starred review).