Charlie Kaufman just released his Netflix film I’m Thinking Of Ending Things to good (if confused) reviews. That was an adaptation of a novel and was seemingly kind of Kaufman’s last option to helm a film as traditional studios were not willing to give him the budgets for his cerebral, existentialist projects.
Well, that may still be the case with traditional studios, but Amazon Studios is reportedly happy to give Kaufman those budgets. However in this case Kaufman is just writing the project, with Reed Morano directing. But he is adapting another novel. This one is Yōko Ogawa‘s The Memory Police.
The book is set on an unnamed island in a dystopian reality where people are starting to forget things. It’s initially innocuous stuff like hats or birds. But when a force called The Memory Police starts to investigate the island, making sure its residents keep these concepts gone and forgotten, the insidious nature of this strange occurrence begins to reveal itself.
When a novelist and her book editor realise they’re one of the few who can actually remember things, they’re forced to hide away from these forces to keep the truth intact.
This pretty much sounds like an ideal Kaufman project. The premise is similar to Eternal Sunshine For The Spotless Mind, another strange film about memory, and also another project Kaufman wrote but didn’t direct. For Kaufman fans, news that he’s getting another project so quickly after his latest debuted is surely great news.
That’s not to take away from Morano’s involvement in the film. She recently directed spy flick The Rhythm Section, and has also helmed episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale, Billions, and Halt And Catch Fire. The serious, twisty nature of all those projects should make her a great fit with this source material.
With Hollywood still feeling the effects of the pandemic, it will take time for The Memory Police adaptation to get going on production. Who knows when this will eventually see the light of day, but it’s certainly a project worth getting excited about.