He’s the writer’s writer, the man with the strangest and most spotless mind in Hollywood, and now he’s turning to directing. Charlie Kaufman has been working on his debut project, Synedoche, New York for some time now – but he’s just announced the cast that are in talks to enter his weird and wonderful world.
Philip Seymour Hoffman, fresh from Oscar success and bad-guy duties in Mission: Impossible III, will take the lead role as a theatre director, who attempts to put on a play set in a life-size replica of New York inside a huge, empty warehouse (we’re guessing that’s not the whole of New York, just a bit of it; but with Kaufman, who knows?). Being John Malkovich’s Catherine Keener will play his first wife, and Brokeback Mountain’s Michelle Williams will play his second. Samantha Morton is his sometime lover, with Tilda Swinton as Keener’s best friend, and the dubious mentor to the daughter of Hoffman and Keener’s characters.
It’s an interesting line-up of Oscar regulars and indie darlings, but we have to admit that the casting of Williams as Hoffman’s wife, and the sheer number of beautiful actresses swarming around a New York intellectual (we’re guessing) does mean that it smacks somewhat of Woody Allen. Still, only time will tell. Interestingly, both Williams and Keener also have voice roles in Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are.
Kaufman is also, of course, writing the script, and is producing alongside old sparring partner Spike Jonze. So better start exercising your brain, learning your way around Dali paintings and quite possibly experimenting with noxious substances to get ready for what is bound to be another mind-bending oddity.