Charlie Kaufman, the writer of films like Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Adaptation, is making the plunge into directing with Synecdoche, New York, which is about a theater director/playwright who tries to put on a play inside a life size model of New York City inside a warehouse. Yup, sounds like Kaufman.
Philip Seymour Hoffman had already been announced as the playwright/director. Michelle Williams, Heath Ledger’s spawn-maker, was also announced – turns out she’s playing Hoffman’s second wife. New announcements: Catherine Keener is playing his first wife, Samantha Morton is his lover (PSH, you fucking dawg), and Tilda Swinton will play Catherine Keener’s best friend.
"It takes the term ‘living theater’ to a whole new level," said producer Andy Bregman, who runs Likely Story production company. "Wewere kind of hoping that Charlie would write a small, contained film set in a kitchen with a couple of easy-going characters. Instead, he came up with a massive undertaking of visually elaborate worlds and stunningly complex characters and ideas. The film would be all but impossible to pull off if we weren’t surrounded by such incredible actors, the most exciting team of filmmakers imaginable and the most supportive producing partners one could hope."
I feel like I will be explaining this a lot in the coming months as Synecdoche, New York gears up to film in the part of New York not kept in a warehouse this spring: synecdoche is a figure of speech that uses a part of something to represent the whole. As Wikipedia’s example puts it: "The hired hands [workers] are not doing their jobs." A mystifying word for a simple concept. Again, sounds like Kaufman.