Before handing the Catching Fire movie to Francis Lawrence and effectively draining my enthusiasm for the series, Lionsgate actually generated my initial interest in the Hunger Games films, and indeed books, by getting Gary Ross involved.
First and foremost, I read those books as a film lover, and a genuine fan of Ross, intrigued to see what had caught his imagination, and what material he would be working with.
And now I’ll be buying Patrick Ness‘ Chaos Walking books, starting with The Knife of Never Letting Go, as Lionsgate have now done, essentially, the same thing again and handed the adaptation over to a genuinely exciting filmmaker.
As Deadline report, Charlie Kaufman has been given the job of adapting The Knife.
Now, Kaufman has been hired to do an adaptation before and the result, Adaptation, was such an extreme reconfiguration it might be better served if seen as a purely original piece. I don’t think there’s any need to assume he’ll do the same thing here, though, of course, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility.
It’s worth remembering that Kaufman contributed quite a lot to the writing of Kung Fu Panda 2, and without that one spiraling off into a self-reflexive fractal navel.
Here’s a blurb for The Knife of Never Letting Go from Amazon:
Imagine you’re the only boy in a town of men. And you can hear everything they think. And they can hear everything you think. Imagine you don’t fit in with their plans… Todd Hewitt is just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man. But his town has been keeping secrets from him. Secrets that are going to force him to run…
Deadline’s version is a little different:
The Carnegie Medal winning book is set in a dystopian future with humans colonizing a distant earth-like planet. When an infection called the Noise suddenly makes all thought audible, privacy vanishes, chaos ensues, and a corrupt autocrat threatens to take control of the human settlements and wage war with the indigenous alien race. Only young Todd Hewitt holds the key to stopping planet wide-destruction.
So, that’s going to give the sound design team some serious headaches, trying to stop the film from… well, from giving audiences serious headaches. Sounds like a great literary device that Kaufman and whoever gets selected to direct will have to work creatively to translate to cinema in a clear and comprehensible fashion.
Okay, then. I’m off to bed to get started on book one…