Charlie Kaufman says studios have ruined movies, not Netflix

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KARLOVY VARY, CZECH REPUBLIC - JULY 09:  Screenwriter, producer and director Charlie Kaufman attends the closing ceremony of the 51st Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on July 9, 2016 in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.  (Photo by Matej Divizna/Getty Images)
Charlie Kaufman attends the closing ceremony of the 51st Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, 2016. (Matej Divizna/Getty Images)

Charlie Kaufman is one of the most acclaimed screenwriters of the last 30 years.

Not only has he written the likes of Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, but he’s also written and directed Synecdoche, New York and Anomalisa, and been nominated for four Academy Awards, winning Best Original Screenplay for Eternal Sunshine.

Which is what makes it all the more depressing that a traditional studio wouldn’t give him the backing or creative freedom to make his upcoming new movie I’m Thinking Of Ending Things.

Luckily for cinema fans, Netflix stepped in to fund and release Kaufman’s adaptation of Iain Reid’s novel, which will be released at the start of September.

Read more: Charlie Kaufman direct adaptation of I’m Thinking Of Ending Things

Kaufman recently opened up to the Wall Street Journal, via Indiewire, about working with Netflix, insisting that they’re helping to maintain artistic integrity in cinema, after “studios ruined movies.”

After admitting that studios previously gave him money to “play around and experiment” with his directorial efforts, both of which bombed at the box office, Kaufman then added, “But the business has changed enormously, and it all happened around 2008 when studios stopped making movies and started making tentpoles.”

HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 20: In this handout photo provided by Netflix, is a view of Netflix's headquarters located on Sunset Blvd. on April 20, 2020 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Netflix via Getty Images)
A view of Netflix's headquarters located on Sunset Blvd. on April 20, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Netflix via Getty Images)

“The reason something like Netflix attracts filmmakers is because there’s nowhere else to make those things. It’s infuriating to me when people say Netflix is ruining movies because – no, movies ruined movies, studios ruined movies, and that’s the truth.”

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Kaufman then said that he had wanted to make the musical Frank Or Francis, which he wrote and would have starred Jack Black, Nicolas Cage, Steve Carell, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Kline, Catherine Keener, and Paul Reubens.

But he couldn’t get the budget, even though it would have cost just $11 million (£8.8 million) to make.

I’m Thinking Of Ending Things will launch on Netflix in September, 2020.