The Shooting Script®
by Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman
Foreword by Susan Orlean
One Story ... Four Lives ... A Million Ways it Can End
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 book The Orchid
Thief, writes himself and a 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, the 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 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 of the Self."
Chris Cooper won an Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor, and Adaptation was
nominated for 4 Academy Awards® including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor Nicolas Cage, and Best Supporting Actress Meryl Streep. Charlie Kaufman received a
WGA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and was named Best Screenwriter by the National Board of Review.
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.
The Newmarket Shooting Script® Series
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