Charlie Kaufman is thinking of starting: a career in animated films for children.
The author of ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ has been confirmed to write the Netflix and DreamWorks Animation film ‘Orion and The Dark’, which is adapted from a 2014 novel by Emma Yarlett. Kaufman wrote the screenplay for the film, which marks the directorial debut of animator Sean Charmatz, for Variety.
“Orion and The Dark” follows the anxious titular high schooler, voiced by Jacob Tremblay, as he tries to cope with his fear of the dark. However, “The Dark” is actually a physical entity, played by Paul Walter Hauser, who takes Orion on a nocturnal adventure to prove there is nothing to fear.
DreamWorks Animation will announce “Orion and The Dark” during the Annecy Animation Festival, along with a preview of three scenes. Netflix is set to release the film in 2024. Variety has reported that a Werner Herzog cameo may be in the works.
Kaufman’s 2020 film “I’m Thinking of Ending Things,” another adaptation of the novel, also debuted on Netflix.
“I was looking for something that someone would let me direct and it’s easier to make something if it’s based on a book, or a comic, or a movie that already exists,” “Adaptation” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” told the “The producer I work with had a deal with Netflix at the time. I don’t know if Netflix knew I was going to make it into anything less of a thriller than the book, and I don’t think I do either.
Kaufman continued, “The reason something like Netflix appeals to filmmakers is because there’s nowhere else to do those things. It infuriates me when people say Netflix is screwing up movies because — no, movies screwed up movies, studios screwed up movies, and that’s the truth.”
Yet Kaufman’s distinctive voice endures: the writer-director told IndieWire in 2016 that his career has changed based on his filmmaking style, which is now echoed by fellow filmmakers.
“Sometimes I see things and I think ‘Oh, that might have been influenced by me,’ and people tell me they were influenced by me,” Kaufman said. “But I’ve also seen critics say, ‘This is a Charlie Kaufman-type movie, and so-and-so did it.’ And it’s how… why do it They Can I make Charlie Kaufman movies and I can’t? I think about it all the time.