Just when we were wondering if production on Charlie Kaufman‘s ambitious, zany, satiric musical “Frank Or Francis” might have hit the skids, the project has received some new life, adding two of our favorite actresses to the cast. Vulture reports that Kate Winslet (coming off Emmy and Golden Globes wins for her excellent turn in “Mildred Pierce“) and Kaufman regular Catherine Keener (“Synechdoche, New York,” “Adaptation,” “Being John Malkovich“) are coming aboard the film.
To refresh your memory, this one already has Steve Carell, Jack Black, Nicolas Cage and Kevin Kline set to star in the take-down of online film criticism (among many other things) that focuses on three characters: Frank Arder (Carell), a well-meaning, but pretentious screenwriter-turned-filmmaker whose feature-film “You” becomes a sensation in Hollywood after it’s nominated for a record-breaking amount of Academy Awards; Francis (Black) is a charisma-free, but whip-smart online blogger/commenter who lives in his parents’ attic, and his biting critiques of Tinsteltown and its movies have earned him a bit of a following; and Alan Modell (Cage), aka the Emcee, a well-known comedian famous for his wildly popular and immensely insipid “Fat Dad” roles, who begins to experience his career’s decline and desperately tries to put it back on track at any cost. And if that isn’t enough, Kline plays two roles. The first is Richard Waller, the brother of filmmaker Jonathan Waller, who directed a hit epic called “Hiroshima” that failed to win Best Picture. Second, he’ll be voicing Richard’s Head, the superwiz computer-brain programmed to write hit screenplays.
There’s no word yet on the roles Winslet and Keener are attached to, but they are likely taking the female leads in the love stories that also factor in largely for Frank and Francis. And believe us when we tell you, there is a lot more to the story than the above. And oh yeah, half the lines in the movie aren’t spoken, they’re sung. All that to say, it’s pretty batshit but also pretty awesome.
Still no word on when this will roll in front of cameras, but Winslet films “The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society” in March with Kenneth Branagh, before moving onto Jason Reitman‘s “Labor Day” in the summer, so we wonder if this is being put together to shoot later in the year. But either way, we’re just glad movement is still happening on the film.