FX Networks has greenlighted How And Why, a half-hour comedy pilot from Oscar winner Charlie Kaufman. It tells the story of a man who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works, but is clueless about life. Kaufman will write and direct the pilot and serve as executive producer. FX Prods will produce. How And Why joins another recently ordered FX comedy pilot, animated Chozen from Grant Dekernion, Danny McBride and the team behind Eastbound & Down. Dekernion is writing and executive producing Chozen, about a white rapper, recently out of prison, who uses his new survival skills in his quest for redemption. McBride and Rough House Pictures will executive produce with Floyd County Prods. Characters will be voiced by Saturday Night Live’s Bobby Moynihan, Michael Pena, Hannibal Buress, Kathryn Hahn, Nick Swardson and McBride. FX Prods is producing.
Charlie Kaufman and his producing partners — former Community showrunner Dan Harmon and Dino Stamatopoulos — do not want to deal with Hollywood, and now at least for one project they don’t have to. A stop-motion animation adaptation of the Kaufman-written play Anomalisa raised $406,237 for the film’s production in 60 days via the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. “We want to make Anomalisa without the interference of the typical big-studio process,” according to a pitch video that Harmon and Stamatopoulos’ Starburns Industries put up on the project page. The film raised more than double the money the producers were asking from 5,770 Kickstarter backers.
EXCLUSIVE: Frequent feature collaborators Charlie Kaufman and Catherine Keener are teaming for a TV series project. In a competitive situation, a half-hour comedy starring Oscar nominee Keener and to be written and directed by Oscar winner Kaufman has landed at HBO, which has put it on fast-track development. The untitled comedy is described as an exploration of one day in a woman’s life and how the events leading up to it can affect, or not, the reality in which she lives. Kaufman is executive producing; Keener serves as producer.
Over the last decade, Keener had been frequently pursued to do TV series, something she had declined to do until now. For her first series starring vehicle, she opted to team with a writer-director whom she has worked with before and who knows her well. Keener starred in Kaufman’s feature directorial debut Synecdoche, New York. She appeared in two movies written by him – Synecdoche and Being John Malkovich – and also did a cameo in the Kaufman-penned Adaptation. Keener also is set to co-star in Kaufman’s next movie, Frank Or Francis, opposite Steve Carell and Jack Black. Both Keener and Kaufman earned Oscar nominations for Being John Malkovich. Gersh-repped Keener also was nominated for Capote; WME-repped Kaufman was nominated for Adaptation and won a best screenplay Oscar for Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.
He was repped for 15 years by UTA, and again this is a case of an agency having done right by a loyal and longtime client. After all, Charlie Kaufman writes some of Hollywood’s quirkiest screenplays and yet UTA helped them get made, from Being John Malkovich to Adaptation, to …