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Adaptation, a new movie by Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 19, 2002

It’s been almost three years since Being John Malkovich came out, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the next effort by Spike Jonze & screenwriter Charlie Kaufman ever since. Adaptation (trailer) looks to be worth the wait…and coincidentally for me, it’s based on The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean (whose Web site I just finished).

Well, “based on” is not quite the right phrase. Adaptation is not about the book per se, it’s about screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (you know, the actual screenwriter) trying to adapt the book, which is about obsession, into a movie. And in the process Kaufman (played by Nicholas Cage) becomes obsessed with Susan (played by Meryl Streep), Susan becomes obsessed with the orchid story, and, one would think, the viewers become obsessed with madness in trying to unpack all the layers here. Remember the two minutes Malkovich spent inside his own head in BJM? Adaptation sounds like 120 minutes of that. Can’t wait.