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Kung Fu Panda Gets Surreal: Charlie Kaufman Doing Rewrites on Script

Charlie Kaufman is one of the most respected screenwriters in the business. His screenplays, from Being John Malkovich to Synecdoche, New York, are some of the most original, intriguing works to hit the screen in years. That’s why many film fans are a little surprised to read the news from the Hollywood Reporter that Kaufman has been doing touch ups on the script for the sequel to a movie starring Jack Black as a chubby panda who knows karate. That’s right, Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom just got a hell of a lot more surreal.

From the Hollywood Reporter:

“Charlie Kaufman, the Oscar-winning writer behind “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and films such as “Adaptation” and “Being John Malkovich,” has headed off into an unexpected direction: animation.

The scribe is coming off of less than two weeks worth of work on DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom,” the sequel to the fun 2008 movie that had the voice talent of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie and Dustin Hoffman.”

It’s important to note that Kaufman isn’t writing the full movie, he’s merely polishing up the script. Script doctoring is something than many writers do to get some extra cash. The playwright Tom Stoppard famously worked on the Revenge of the Sith script (clearly his addition didn’t save that sinking ship) and on Patton Oswalt‘s Werewolves And Lollipops album, the comedian has some great stories about comedians being hired to add jokes to animated films. Still though, we’ve got to hope that a little bit of Kaufman’s eccentric sensibilities end up in the finished project.

So get ready for Kung Fu Panda 2, everyone, because the plot is now a meta-narrative about the art of making a children’s film as an adult in which a curly haired lemur named Charlie Kaufman enters the brains of animal cubs so as to spread the legend of the Kung Fu Panda and escape the crippling depression of animal adulthood. It’s definitely gonna be a hit.

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