"Regardless of how this particular thing works itself out, I will be dying. So will you... So will everyone here. And I want to explore that unflinchingly." - Caden
Release: 24 October, 2008.
The Pitch: Playwright Caden Cotard is having what might be termed a bad life. His marriage falls apart. He seems to be dying of a mysterious illness that is systematically shutting down his autonomic functions. His ex-wife heads off to Germany with their daughter and her friend. The friend gradually turns Caden's daughter into a lesbian Nazi. But hey, he's received a Macarthur Grant, and sets about producing a work "big and true and tough. You know, finally put my real self into something." To that end, Caden builds a scale replica of New York in a warehouse and fills it with scores of actors - some of them playing Caden's real-life friends and acquaintances, one playing Caden himself. As the project evolves, reality and fantasy meld. Is anything in this movie really happening? Are we just seeing reality as Caden perceives it? What's with the house that's always on fire? How come time flows so strangely? What does it all mean, if any of it means anything? Easily the least commercial of all Charlie's scripts so far, this one's set for release later in 2008.
Director: Charlie Kaufman
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman (Caden Cotard), Catherine Keener (Adele Lack), Hope Davis (Madeleine Gravis), Michelle Williams (Claire Keen), Tom Noonan (Sammy Barnathan), Samantha Morton (Hazel), Emily Watson (Tammy), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Maria), Dianne Wiest (Ellen Bascomb/Millicent Weems)
Three drafts of the screenplay are available for download, plus a Spanish translation of the 1st draft, and the Synecdoche, New York PDF press kit. You can find them via the Scripts/Writing section of this site.