We heard a few months back that director Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman were were teaming up for a top secret film -- their third collaboration together after 1999's brilliant 'Being John Malkovich' and 2002's even more brilliant 'Adaptation' -- but today, Deadline not only has word that the project is in negotiations to be picked by Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures, they have the first details of what the film may be about.
Although the synopsis is about as bare-bones as a synopsis can be while still maintaining the title of "synopsis," it's a set-up that should prove tantalizing to fans of both Jonze and Kaufman: "...a satire about how world leaders gather to figure out all the seismic events that will take place in the world, from oil prices to wars that will be waged."
It's a premise that feels beautifully suited to Jonze's whimsical, freewheeling style and Kaufman's brainy, obtuse sense of humor. It also sounds like the kind of oddball project that would normally struggle to find support and financing, but Ellison, the heiress daughter of multi-billionaire Larry Ellison, has been using her powers for good lately, throwing her support behind a wide range of talented, unique filmmakers. She produced 'True Grit' for the Coen brothers, she's producing Andrew Dominik's next film, 'Cogan's Trade, she rescued John Hillcoat's troubled adaptation of 'The Wettest County in the World,' and, finally, she's getting into the Paul Thomas Anderson business. In other words, she's Hollywood's newest hero.
We last heard from Jonze about a year ago, when his robots-in-love short film 'I'm Here' played Sundance, and his previous feature was 2009's long-troubled-but-ultimately-beautiful 'Where the Wild Things Are.' Kaufman has kept busy too, winning an Oscar for writing the heartbreaking 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' in 2004 and making his directorial debut in 2007 with the polarizing 'Synecdoche, New York.' Even though these two continue to make great work apart from each other, the sheer number of great moments from their work together automatically make this project one of our most anticipated movies of, well, ever.
Remember the unforgettable scene in 'Being John Malkovich' when John Malkovich discovers that people are using a mysterious tunnel to enter his brain and decides to try it out himself?
Or how about the sequence in 'Adaptation' where the character of Charlie Kaufman (played by Nicholas Cage) attends a screenwriting seminar held by script guru Robert McKee (a real guy, but played by Brian Cox) and gets a foul-mouthed earful about "truth" in storytelling?
If this new project has moments half as good as those, we're looking at an amazing treat.