Look out Harvey Weinstein, there is a young whippersnapper on your heels. Megan Ellison, the woman behind Annapurna Pictures, has been on a buying streak of late, picking up and/or stepping behind esteemed projects that have earned the attention of cinephiles including John Hillcoat's "The Wettest County," Andrew Dominik's "Cogan's Trade" and Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" and his untitled Scientology project. Now Ellison is circling another project from a celebrated pair of auteurs.
Deadline reports that Ellison is looking to acquire the untitled film that has been pitched around town for a little while now with Spike Jonze directing the script by Charlie Kaufman. Details on the project this time around are being kept under wraps but it seems as ambitious as their previous collaborations, 1999’s “Being John Malkovich” and 2002’s “Adaptation.” The film is said to be "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 certainly sounds promising but that's not the only comedy that Kaufman has gestating. "Frank Or Francis," previously set up at Sony, is now back in the wild and looking for financing. This time, Kaufman puts the screws to Hollywood as the story concerns "a volatile back and forth between a film director (Frank) and an online blogger (Francis), who takes delight in berating his cinematic talent." Kaufman wrote the script and is hoping to direct as well.
While we admired the scope of "Synecdoche, New York" it was a bit of a miss with both critics and audiences and it's probably a big reason why Kaufman and Jonze are back together; it's probably much easier for the writer to get his script made with someone like Jonze attached rather than trying to go it on his own again. Both projects sound intriguing but given the dodgy history of movies about movies (particularly comedies), "Frank Or Francis" may be a way off yet (though Deadline suggests that names like Meryl Streep are being sought and obviously, that could change things).
It's been far too long without news about new feature projects from either Jonze or Kaufman and we're glad there's fresh movement; we can't wait to see what shape these films will take in the coming weeks and months.