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Charlie Kaufman, ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Director Reed Morano Board ‘Memory Police’ for Amazon

Charlie Kaufman Reed Morano
Brinson + Banks for Variety/Celeste SLOMAN for Variety

“The Handmaid’s Tale” director Reed Morano and Oscar-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman are boarding a feature version of the Yōko Ogawa surrealistic novel “The Memory Police” for Amazon Studios.

Morano will direct and produce, and Kaufman will write the script for “The Memory Police,” described as an Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance.

The story is set on an unnamed island, where objects are disappearing: first hats, then ribbons, birds, roses. Most of the inhabitants are oblivious to these changes, while those few able to recall the lost objects live in fear of the draconian Memory Police, who are committed to ensuring that what has disappeared remains forgotten. When a young novelist realizes her book editor is one of those able to still remember, she hides him in a room beneath her floorboards.

Morano directed the first three episodes of Hulu’s hit show “The Handmaid’s Tale” and won the Emmy and Directors Guild awards for drama series direction. She is the first woman to win the best director Emmy for the pilot of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Her feature credits include “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Meadowland” and “The Rhythm Section.” She’s been attached to direct Amazon’s “The Power,” a 10-part series based on the Naomi Alderman novel, and an adaptation of the novel “Pretty Things” starring Nicole Kidman.

Kaufman won the Academy Award for original screenplay for “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and was nominated for writing “Being John Malkovich” and “Adaptation” and for best animated feature for “Anomalisa.” He directed and wrote “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” for Netflix, with Jesse Plemons and Toni Collette starring.

Morano is repped by CAA and LBI Entertainment and Kaufman is repped by WME and Hansen Jacobson. Ogawa is repped by ICM Partners, Japan Foreign Rights Centre and Anonymous Content. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.