We shouldn’t need to explain why the prospect of Charlie Kaufman’s second directorial effort is an intriguing one, but for those who haven’t yet seen his feature Synecdoche, New York, do so. His long-rumoured new flick, entitled Frank or Francis (which he will also write), has been slowly dispelling rumours this year, and the most recent confirmation is that Kevin Kline will have two supporting roles in the film.
We also know that the main plotline will involve a battle between a successful filmmaker (Steve Carell) and a prominent film critic (played by Jack Black). It will also aim to satirise Hollywood more generally, taking in everything from bloggers and PR to the Academy Awards themselves. Nicolas Cage will also be present as an established and popular actor, and those who have seen Adaptation (the last time Cage worked with a Kaufman script) will know why this is exciting news.
In an interview with Timeout London, Kaufman himself summed up the film thus: “In the broadest possible sense, it’s about online film criticism, but as usual, the world that I’m writing about is not necessarily the world that I’m writing about. It’s just a place to set it.” Which doesn’t tell us much, but sounds very intriguing. A film dealing with the industry itself, and directly with critics – particularly the online variety (gulp) – sounds like perfect territory for Kaufman, who will hopefully be able to extract a great deal of entertainment from the subject. It’s still a fairly long way off, but this is one to be excited about.