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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.