Tue. Nov 28th, 2023

Oscar-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman says the industry tends to push “idiosyncratic” people like him to the side.

Charlie Kaufman

Believe it or not, Charlie Kaufman has been in the business for 40 years, so the guy has seen a lot. As it turns out, he is far from pleased with how the industry has developed since the 1980s.

In a new installment of the Zoom workshop Word by Word, which is presented by The Black List, writer/director/Nicolas Cage Charlie Kaufman said (via The Hollywood Reporter), “I think that the business is in a very, very bad place, and it needs to change into something where people who have idiosyncratic voices can make movies because I think we need that, as a society and as a culture. And I think it is a very difficult road for people who are trying to do that.” Still, he added that his words aren’t mean to limit outsiders from coming into the industry but rather pull them in to change the tide. “In no way am I trying to dissuade people from doing it. I think people should do it. I want to figure out how those people can be supported and movies can be made so we don’t get sort of this cookie cutter version of reality that we’re presented by people who are trying to make fortunes.”

Charlie Kaufman has been openly critical of the state of the industry many times before, saying that the only kinds of movies that make money nowadays are “garbage.” It probably didn’t help him a whole lot on that front that his latest, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, garnered most of its viewers from Netflix. But, as Kaufman put it, Hollywood isn’t completely friendly towards his style anyway…maybe not go for a “dark” Gilligan’s Island?

While Charlie Kaufman has a perspective that the industry is mostly against him, he does have four Academy Award nominations and one win, with that victory coming from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. His other nominations are for writing Being John Malkovich and Adaptation and making Anomalisa.

Charlie Kaufman’s next film, Orion and the Dark, is set to arrive next year on, yes, Netflix.

What do you think about Charlie Kaufman’s thoughts on the state of the movie industry? Does he have a point or is he off? Give us your take in the comments section below!

By Dave Jenks

Dave Jenks is an American novelist and Veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Between those careers, he’s worked as a deckhand, commercial fisherman, divemaster, taxi driver, construction manager, and over the road truck driver, among many other things. He now lives on a sea island, in the South Carolina Lowcountry, with his wife and youngest daughter. They also have three grown children, five grand children, three dogs and a whole flock of parakeets. Stinnett grew up in Melbourne, Florida and has also lived in the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and Cozumel, Mexico. His next dream is to one day visit and dive Cuba.