Adaptation: The Shooting Script

Overview

One of the most talked about scripts of the year, Adaptation is the story of an orchid collector (Chris Cooper), a journalist (Meryl Streep, as author Susan Orlean), and the screenwriter (Charlie Kaufman, played by Nicolas Cage) who, in adapting Orlean's bestselling book The Orchid Thief, writes himself and his twin brother (also played by Cage) into the movie.

In the foreword, written exclusively for this Newmarket edition, Orlean reveals her own struggle to tell the story of ...

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Overview

One of the most talked about scripts of the year, Adaptation is the story of an orchid collector (Chris Cooper), a journalist (Meryl Streep, as author Susan Orlean), and the screenwriter (Charlie Kaufman, played by Nicolas Cage) who, in adapting Orlean's bestselling book The Orchid Thief, writes himself and his twin brother (also played by Cage) into the movie.

In the foreword, written exclusively for this Newmarket edition, Orlean reveals her own struggle to tell the story of the orchid, and her delight that “strangely, marvelously, hilariously, Kaufman's screenplay has ended up not being a literal Adaptation of my book, but a spiritual one.”

In a fascinating interview, Kaufman and Jonze take readers behind the scenes of Adaptation and their other films to speak about how they collaborate, where truth and fiction diverge, the challenges of balancing various storylines, why they do not like to comment on the meaning of their work, and Kaufman's approach to writing:"I try to write in the midst of confusion and be strong enough to stay there, rather than swim to the shore of some kind of conclusion."

Finally, screenwriting guru Robert McKee's commentary attempts to analyze Kaufman's work, identifying many of his themes including "that grand twentieth-century preoccupation with the Self."

In the acclaimed Newmarket Shooting Script® series format, the book includes the complete screenplay, Orlean's foreword, the interview with Kaufman and Jonze, McKee's critical commentary, 24 black-and-white stills, and cast and crew credits.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Skate rat turned director Spike Jonze followed up his wildly inventive Being John Malkovich with another metaflick, Adaptation. Written by Charlie Kaufman, the man who brought audiences inside John Malkovich's head, it is based on the true story of his attempt at adapting Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief to screen. Sound confusing? Finding the truth in his story is a tricky thing, as Rob Feld explains in his Q&A with Kaufman and Jonze. Evidently, when he was unable to dramatize a flower successfully, Kaufman writes himself, fictional twin Donald (also credited as coauthor), and a host of others into the script about writing a script for the flower. The result is a twisted tale of writer's block so good that it is brought to the screen instead of Orlean's book. The Jonze-Kaufman collaboration produced an original and mind-bending world that earned Golden Globe nominations for best Screenplay and Best Motion Picture: Musical or Comedy. Nicholas Cage, who plays both Kaufmans, also picked up a nomination, while Meryl Streep won for Best Supporting Actress. Another no-brainer for forward-thinking film collections, with exclusive commentary from Orlean herself. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557045805
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Series: Newmarket Shooting Script Series
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Charlie Kaufman previously collaborated with director Spike Jonze on Being John Malkovich, which was nominated for the Academy Award® for Best Screenplay. Kaufman's other scripts include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Human Nature, and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

Robert McKee teaches his 3Story Structure2 class annually to sold out auditoriums in Los Angeles, New York, London and film capitals throughout the world. A Fulbright Scholar, this award-winning film and television writer has also served as project and talent development consultant to major production companies such as Tri-Star and Golden Harvest Films. He lives in Los Angeles and Cornwall, England.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2006

    Perfect 'package!'

    This book contains the complete script, but it gets even better: New Yorker journalist Susan Orlean, a character in the film--but also a real-live person--wrote the Foreword. Another character that truly exists, USC professor and screenwriter Robert McKee, wrote some critical commentary. Both of them add their perspective. That in itself is hard to come by. Additionally, there is an interview with Adaptation screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and the director Spike Jonze! Both Kaufman and Jonze hate publicity and hate interviews--but this book has one!! How great can it get?! That's why I truly feel this is the perfect 'package.' You will truly find out the multiple meanings of what the word 'adaptation' embodies...by evolution, by metaphor, and by definition! (I recommend seeing the brilliant film first!)

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