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Charlie Kaufman To Co-Direct Animated 'Anomalisa,' Jennifer Jason Leigh & David Thewlis Among Voice Cast

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist May 13, 2013 at 9:01AM

It's funny how the complaints subside if a Kickstarter project is taken on by someone you like. For example: last summer screenwriter/director Charlie Kaufman and former "Community" writer/producer Dan Harmon (two pretty successful guys in their own right) hit the crowdfunding site looking for backers to help get the stop-motion animated "Anomalisa" off the ground. And they certainly didn't face Zach Braff-ian levels of discontent and went on to quietly double their $200,000 goal. And with some cash already in hand, they're headed to Cannes hoping that the movie industry will now front the rest.
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Dan Harmon Charlie Kaufman

It's funny how the complaints subside if a Kickstarter project is taken on by someone you like. For example: last summer screenwriter/director Charlie Kaufman and former "Community" writer/producer Dan Harmon (two pretty successful guys in their own right) hit the crowdfunding site looking for backers to help get the stop-motion animated "Anomalisa" off the ground. And they certainly didn't face Zach Braff-ian levels of discontent and went on to quietly double their $200,000 goal. And with some cash already in hand, they're headed to Cannes hoping that the movie industry will now front the rest.

Kaufman, who co-wrote the script based on his own play, will also co-direct the project (with Duke Johnson), which has since lined up Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan and David Thewlis for voice roles, with Carter Burwell (the longtime Coen Brothers  collaborator who is also composing the music for the upcoming "August: Osage County") providing the score. Impressive, stuff.

It's unclear if this is now aiming to be a feature (it was originally conceived as a 40-minute film), but production is already underway on the movie so perhaps it's sticking with its short format. The story itself follows Michael, a celebrated motivational speaker whose life has become hollow and meaningless. But that all changes when he meets Lisa.

The movie is aimed at adults (as the Kickstarter site says, it's "about a man crippled by the mundanity of his life" -- fun!) and it'll be interesting to see what interest it generates in the south of France. Still, the first project from Kaufman since 2008's "Synecdoche, New York" is certainly cause to celebrate. [Screen Daily]

This article is related to: Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa, Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Thewlis, Carter Burwell, August: Osage County


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