Charlie Kaufman is set to return in 2013 with Kevin Kline, Nicholas Cage, Steve Carrell and Jack Black. Cage and Kaufman is almost too much greatness, but now with Kline in the mix it might just reach sublimity.
Kevin Kline’s performance in last year’s “The Extra Man” was a welcome return to a starring role for perhaps one of the best and most flexible actors working in any language. Now, Charlie Kaufman has drafted Kline for his latest project “Frank or Francis.”
This is of course great news. Nicholas Cage, Steve Carrell and Jack Black were already locked for roles, but Kline’s addition just upped the ante on the absurd quotient. The man can do Monty Python-esque comedy as he showed us in “A Fish Called Wanda.” He can dazzle in Academy fair like “Sophie’s Choice,” or offer up a master class in acting the jackass, as he did as Nick Bottom in the film adaptation of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.”
Nick Bottom is one of my favorite fictional characters, and now I have a hard time separating the character from Kline—fine; that’s just an example of the man’s brilliance.
Kline will be playing two characters — one a human named Richard Waller, brother of a director who failed to win an Oscar for the highest-grossing film of all time, “Hiroshima”; the other, an artificial intelligence character with an animatronic head that can generate Oscar-winning scripts by being the least offensive, thus ensuring the broadest audience imaginable (including Academy voters).
Carrell plays Frank Arder, a former screenwriter who is now acting in and directing his own projects, which include “You,” a film which received 29 Oscar nominations with Arder playing every role (much like Eddie Murphy before him).
Black plays a film blogger who lives in his parent’s house and hates Arder, while Cage plays Alan Modell, a comedian whose career is on the wane and is hosting the Oscars.
According to Paste, half of the film’s dialogue will be sung.
This should be interesting.