A feverish 24 hours of high-stakes bidding by several Hollywood studios culminated Friday in Propaganda Films’ purchase of an untitled Charlie Kaufman pitch for low seven figures.
The interest was such that Nicolas Cage’s Saturn Films came in as a producer of the possible vehicle for Cage. His agency, CAA, confirmed that he was attached.
Kaufman, who penned Propaganda’s “Being John Malkovich,” which shoots next month, set his latest story around a couple with problems who come across a service that erases choice portions of one’s memory. The woman, tired of their contentious romance, obliterates her entire recollection of him; he eventually follows, so that they each end up not knowing the other. Then, with shades of “Groundhog Day,” they meet again and, inevitably, start over.
Kaufman also wrote “Scanner Darkly,” for Jersey Films and Universal, and the adaptation of Chuck Barris’ autobiography “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” in development at Warner Bros.
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As many as nine studios and production houses — including WB, Paramount, New Line and Fox — were said to be interested in the “memory” pitch, with one major studio authorized to bid $500,000 and another $750,000. It didn’t take long for the sum to reach seven figures, a heady number for a pitch.
Michel Gondry, who directs commercials and videos for Propaganda, will helm, with his production company, Partisan Films, in as a producer. His deal was cut by United Talent Agency and his lawyer, Robert Offer.
Kaufman is repped by UTA and attorney Ken Richman.
At Propaganda, the main dealmaker was exec VP Paul Green. Execs on the picture are Propaganda chairman Steve Golin, senior motion pix veep Elizabeth Lane and Guymon Casady, senior VP of production, who brought the project in.