Though still a year ahead of us since the release date is expected to be early 2013, it’s never too early to start a buzz on the upcoming Charlie Kaufman film. Frank or Francis is the writer’s second directorial effort, after the insane Synecdoche, New York, which, even being one of the writer’s biggest fans, left me completely lost. But it’s ok, because we enjoy numerous viewings of Charlie Kaufman’s films, and we never get enough of them. So as bizarre and confusing as he wants to make this new one, we will be here to welcome it and watch it a million times in order to get at least half of it.
Frank or Francis will deal with the ongoing feud between Frank Arder, a director promoting his current film in which he plays all the different roles, and Francis Deems, a blogger who hates Arder’s film. A lot of people will interfere in the fight, and a lot of madness will break loose. Nicolas Cage, Jack Black, Kevin Kline and Steve Carell were some of the first names to join the project, making it abundantly clear that Frank of Francis will be 100% comedy. However one thing about the film’s genre is not made clear by the storyline, nor the cast involved, and this is the fact that Frank or Francis will be also a musical!
Steve Carell has been given the role of Frank Arder, and Jack Black will play the annoying online blogger Francis Deems. Nicolas Cage will be the forgotten actor presenting the Oscars, and Kevin Kline will play two parts: A director and his brother. Aka an inventor and his invention. Very complicated, very surreal, very Kaufman.
Recently, Kate Winslet and Catherine Keener were added onto this all star cast, which wasn’t a huge surprise, as they are both known to be big fans of Charlie Kaufman’s work, and they have worked with the writer before in his two best projects. Kate Winslet was the unconventional Clementine in Kaufman’s 2004 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Catherine Keener played the sometimes straight and sometimes gay (depending on who’s in Malkovich’s brain each time), Maxine, in his 1999 feature, Being John Malkovich.
Even more recently, Elizabeth Banks and Paul Reubens also got involved the project, with the first playing a typecast movie star, as well as Frank’s love interest, and with Reubens taking on the part of an old school movie critic. Admittedly, a Hollywood satire written and directed by Charlie Kaufman doesn’t come as a huge shock to us. If there was anyone else to do this, we’d worry he’d stolen it from him. After all, he did write Being John Malkovich. However, a musical? This is something we definitely didn’t expect, and we can’t wait to experience the insanity.
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