In September, Netflix will unveil the latest directorial effort of the inimitable Charlie Kaufman: a feature film adaptation of Iain Reid’s 2016 novel I’m Thinking of Endings Things. If you haven’t read the book, the gist is as such: a young woman and her not-terribly-longtime boyfriend take a road trip to visit the latter’s parents (her first time meeting them, notably) in their remote and inevitably kind of spooky family home. To be incredibly reductive, things begin to get weird. The trailer, newly dropped online, does a pretty good job of hammering home that last detail.
If you have read the book, your mind might now be entertaining questions of how director and screenwriter Kaufman, whose bread and butter is deconstruction, will turn the text on its head. On the one hand, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is cerebral and twisty on its own accord; on the other, one imagines that to appeal to Kaufman, he must have seen some opportunity to built out and around from what was foud on the page. Remember, this is the man who, nearly 20 years ago, famously turned Susan Orlean’s 1998 nonfiction book The Orchid Thief, about a man poaching rare flowers, into a movie about a filmmaker making a movie about a book (the aforementioned) that could not possibly be made into a movie. With two Nicolas Cages, mind you.
The release of I’m Thinking of Ending Things comes two months after the publication of Kaufman’s own debut novel, Antkind, which is every bit as batty and inwardly exploratory as a Kaufman fan would expect. It has, on the other hand, been almost five years since Kaufman’s last movie—Anomalisa, his first effort in the stop-motion animation—and 12 years since his last live-action feature, and arguably the paragon of his vision, Synecdoche, New York.
In the elapsed time, we’ve seen a few Kaufman-backed prospects earn buzz only to fade into oblivion, namely Frank or Francis, a would-be comedy film about internet culture, once set to star Jack Black and Steve Carell. Still on the back-burner is Kaufman’s adaptation of the science-fiction novel Chaos Walking, which Kaufman was first alleged to be working on in 2012.
Needless to say, Kaufman fans will no doubt be excited to reunite with the filmmaker’s singular vision by way of I’m Thinking of Ending Things. The film, starring Jessie Buckley and Jesse Plemons, and costarring Toni Colette and David Thewlis, hits Netflix on September 4.
Featured Image: Netflix