Charlie Kaufman has long wanted to make a film with horror elements. When he and Spike Jonze were approached by Sony to make such a project, “We talked about things that we thought were really scary in the world, as opposed to horror movie conventions,” Kaufman said in a 2008 interview. And that nascent idea became Kaufman’s directorial debut “Synecdoche, New York.”
Now, Kaufman is returning to that idea of more traditional horror, with real-world scares, with “Horrorstör,” a project he’s cooking up with “The OC” creator Jason Schwartz based on the book by Grady Hendrix. Deadline reports that Fox has given the supernatural dramedy an hour-long “put pilot” order, meaning that contractually they have to air the pilot, i.e. we should expect a series order.
Written by Schwartz and Black List screenwriter Michael Vukadinovich, the story centers on 26-year-old Amy, newly sober, who lands a job at ORSK, a fictional US analogue to European furniture empire IKEA. Inside, Amy finds that the store preys on its customers’ wants and desires, and to supernatural effect, as their fantasies come true in malevolent ways.
Kaufman, not easily molded to television, was first to approach Schwartz with this book. “Horrorstör” producers are Kaufman, Schwartz, Gail Berman of The Jackal Group (and formerly of Fox), and Stephanie Savage of Fake Empire.
Charlie Kaufman’s new animated feature “Anomalisa” premieres at Venice this year, followed by a Canadian premiere in Toronto (meaning we should expect it to pop up at Telluride over Labor Day weekend).