×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Charlie Kaufman

Contrary to popular Hollywood myth, Charlie Kaufman’s first produced script never was called “Being James Woods,” “Being Tom Cruise” or, for that matter, “Being Julia Roberts.”

“The screenplay was always ‘Being John Malkovich,’ even before I had any expectation that John Malkovich would even read the script,” Kaufman says.

“It was surprising that he agreed to do it.”

“Shocking” would be more like it. What other star would tweak his image so drastically as Malkovich has here? In the Kaufman-scripted, Spike Jonze-directed film, Catherine Keener and John Cusack find an office portal that leads them inside John Malkovich. Literally. In a get-rich scheme, the duo sells tickets to those craving such an out-of-their-own-body experience, much to the thesp’s dismay.

Last June, MPRM created tremendous buzz for the film when the publicity firm screened a rough cut that hit all the right media buttons on both coasts. “Being John Malkovich” now has an October release.

A graduate of the NYU film school, Kaufman wrote his script several years ago. “It had been floating around,” he says, until Jonze read it and took the project to Propaganda, which promptly agreed to produce.

“I’d written several TV pilots, and got some attention,” Kaufman says. “The feeling was my stuff was too odd.”

Certain movie execs couldn’t agree less. Last year, Kaufman and Michel Gondry sold an untitled pitch to Propaganda, about a film set inside a man’s memory. Next up for Kaufman, who lives in Pasadena and is repped by UTA, is his script “Human Nature,” about a bizarre love triangle. Good Machine will produce with Jonze and Kaufman, with Gondry helming.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Todd Phillips Joker Movie

    Box Office: 'Joker' Becomes First R-Rated Movie to Hit $1 Billion

    Warner Bros.’ “Joker” will on Friday become the first R-rated movie in history to earn over $1 billion at the global box office. Joaquin Phoenix’s twisted take on the Batman villain marks the seventh movie this year (and first that’s not from Disney or Marvel) to join the elusive billion-dollar club. Among Warner Bros.’ movies, [...]

  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, Al PacinoKirk

    Martin Scorsese Saluted by Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino at Santa Barbara Film Fest Gala

    Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Pacino saluted Martin Scorsese‘s dedication and risk-taking at his Santa Barbara International Film Festival tribute, while the filmmaker spoke about the importance of “individual artistic expression.” More than 300 people attended the black-tie gala on Thursday night in Scorsese’s honor at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara, where festival exec director [...]

  • amazon-studios

    John Lynch Out as Head of Production at Amazon Studios (EXCLUSIVE)

    John Lynch is leaving Amazon Studios, the streaming service where he served as head of production and operations, Variety has learned. Rumors began swirling earlier this week that Lynch was out at the company. Lynch has been with Amazon since 2012, according to his LinkedIn profile. Lynch notified staff of his departure on Friday. It’s [...]

  • 'Angelfish' Review: An Attractive But Underwritten

    Film Review: 'Angelfish'

    Destiny Frasqueri (better known to her Generation Z fans as Nuyorican rapper Princess Nokia) makes a winning, delicate screen debut in “Angelfish,” a low-key Bronx romance that proves a surprisingly muted vehicle for her outsize performing charisma. As Eva, a hard-up, lovelorn daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, torn between familial responsibilities and a more creative, [...]

  • Roger Deakins 1917 Movie Cinematography

    'Midway,' '1917' DPs on Unique Challenges War Movies Present

    Cinematographers who set out to shoot war films like “1917” and “Midway” face a bigger challenge than navigating explosions or running alongside the actors in the midst of a special effects battlefield. They have to find a way to tell the combat story that will captivate audiences that have seen dozens, if not hundreds, of [...]

  • Charlie Theron on the Moment She

    Charlize Theron Recalls the Moment She Transformed Into Megyn Kelly for 'Bombshell'

    Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”) explained how prosthetics makeup turned her into Megyn Kelly. Theron discussed the transformation — and much more — with Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”) during a conversation for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” The interview began with Driver asking Theron if she could recall when she gained ownership over her Megyn Kelly character. [...]

  • Margot Robbie stars in ONCE UPON

    'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Stars Discuss Film's Costume Design

    Margot Robbie and Leonardo DiCaprio rave about “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” costume designer Arianne Phillips in a new featurette obtained exclusively by Variety. “She’s so incredible. She contextualizes the time period and people really will be transported into what fashion was like in the ’60s,” Robbie says. “I was blown away by the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content