Oscar-winning writer/director Charlie Kaufman is joining forces with Netflix for a movie adaptation of Iain Reid's best-selling 2016 novel I'm Thinking of Ending Things. Outside of doing some script work on the upcoming young adult sci-fi literary adaptation Chaos Walking, Kaufman has been keeping something of a low profile since he both wrote and co-directed the Academy Award nominated stop motion film Anomalisa back in 2015. Assuming that everything pans out from here, that means I'm Thinking of Ending Things will serve as Kaufman's next directorial effort.
I'm Thinking of Ending Things is the first published novel that Reid has written, though he has also released a pair of memoirs in the forms of One Bird's Choice: A Year in the Life of an Over-educated, Underemployed Twentysomething Who Moves Back Home and The Truth About Luck: What I Learned on my Road Trip with Grandma. In terms of plot, I'm Thinking of Ending Things plays out as a psychological thriller in which a man takes his girlfriend on a road trip to meet his parents at their secluded farm. Things go south after an unexpected detour leaves the girlfriend stranded at an abandoned high school, with little to no hope of escape or her being rescued.
Deadline is reporting that Kaufman is now firmly attached to both write and direct the movie adaptation of I'm Thinking of Ending Things for Netflix. Kaufman will also be producing the project with Anthony Bregman, who previously produced the Kaufman-penned films Human Nature and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, as well as Kaufman's directorial debut Synecdoche, New York. Stefanie Azpiazu, who previously produced such films as Enough Said and The Circle with Bregman, is also backing the project.
I'm Thinking of Ending Things gives Netflix yet another feather that the streaming service can add to its cap, when it comes to movie collaborations with celebrated screenwriters and/or directors. For those keeping score at home, this means that Netflix's upcoming slate of original movies include a Charlie Kaufman adaptation, along with Source Code director Duncan Jones' new sci-fi film Mute, Dan Gilroy's reunion with his Nightcrawler stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo, Martin Scorsese's longtime passion project The Irishman, and possibly even the as-yet untitled Cloverfield 3.
Kaufman's melancholy surrealism and vested interest in exploring the darker aspects of the human psyche lend themselves well to a screen adaptation of I'm Thinking of Ending Things, based on the premise for the novel alone. Of course, going by his adapted scripts for Adaptation (based on Susan Orlean's book The Orchid Thief) and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (based on the late Chuck Barris' memoir of the same name), it's probably safe to assume that Kaufman's interpretation of Reid's source material will be anything but a straightforward adaptation.
We will bring you more information on I'm Thinking of Ending Things as it becomes available.