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Charlie Kaufman Moves to Young Adult Fiction By Adapting ‘Chaos Walking’ for Lionsgate

Written by on April 23, 2012 

In a pairing of writer and material I find myself trying to come to terms with, Deadline reports that Charlie Kaufman has been commissioned by Lionsgate for the young adult business, as he’ll soon adapt Patrick Ness‘ book trilogy, Chaos Walking. In other words: Lionsgate wants Charlie Synecdoche, New YorkKaufman to shepherd their next stab at a Hunger Games-like hit.

The first novel, The Knife of Never Letting Go, is set in “a dystopian future with humans colonizing a distant earth-like planet.” Any progress is soon impeded with the introduction of something called “the Noise,” which makes all thoughts out in the open and, naturally, ruffles a few feathers; one of these feathers belongs to “a corrupt autocrat [who] threatens to take control of the human settlements and wage war with the indigenous alien race.” A young boy, Todd Hewitt, is tasked with bringing it all to an end by means of your atypical heroism.

Deadline doesn’t specify if Kaufman will actually direct Chaos Walking, though “set to adapt” points toward that being just the case. So I’m sure us fans have many questions, yet I still can’t figure out how or why this would come together — as in, how or why he found himself gravitated toward such material in the first place. (And I also hope this doesn’t put some spike into the plans of Frank or Francis.) More answers should come in good time.

You can read more about the plot below (via Amazon):

“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. The history of these peculiar circumstances unfolds over the course of the novel, but Ness’s basic world-building is so immediately successful that readers, too, will be shocked when Todd and his dog, Manchee, first notice a silence in the Noise. Realizing that he must 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.”

Are you surprised by Kaufman’s move here? How about curious?

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