Charlie Kaufman to Adapt Young Adult Novel Series 'Chaos Walking'
Now that Lionsgate has the launch of The Hunger Games franchise behind them (that will hopefully successfully continue with recently hired director Francis Lawrence for Catching Fire), the studio is eager to get another one off the ground. Last October heard Lionsgate had snagged the rights to adapt Patrick Ness' Carnegie Medal winning Chaos Walking series which begins with The Knife of Never Letting Go and is set in a dystopian future where humans have colonized another planet and an infection makes all thought audible, destroying privacy. Now Deadline says Charlie Kaufman will write the first film in the new series.
That's right, Charlie Kaufman, the screenwriter of such original and abstract films as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Synecdoche, New York, has been lined up to direct a young adult novel series. Of course, after you read the official synopsis below, Kaufman's writing style and sensibilities might make him perfect for this world:
Todd Hewitt lives in a world in which all women are dead, and the thoughts of men and animals are constantly audible as Noise. Graphically represented by a set of scratchy fonts and sentence fragments that run into and over each other, Noise is an oppressive chaos of words, images, and sounds that makes human company exhausting and no thought truly private. Bu then Todd and his dog, Manchee, notice a silence in the Noise and in order to keep the silence secret from the town leaders, he runs away, and his terrified flight with an army in pursuit makes up the backbone of the plot.
The over-arcing story of the entire series, without spoiling any specific details in the books, is said to take off when an autocrat tries to take over the human settlements amid the chaos and wage war with the indigenous race, only one young man can stop the planet’s destruction. Reviews of the book have compared the tone to that of The Hunger Games, which is likely why Lionsgate was keen on picking up the series. I have to say, following the hiring of Gary Ross, an Academy Award winning writer/director for The Hunger Games, it's good to see them snagging another great writing talent for a potential new franchise, especially a writer like Charlie Kaufman who crafted something original with his Adaptation of The Orchid Thief. So far he's only set to adapt the first book in the series, but if all goes well, he could write the entire franchise.