Charlie has signed on as an executive producer (not writer, not director) for Ryan Gosling's film The Actor, based on Donald Westlake's novel Memory. Duke Johnson aims to direct it.
In a competitive situation, Parasite distributor Neon has come out on top for North American rights to Ryan Gosling package The Actor, the next movie from Anomalisa director Duke Johnson. We hear the pre-buy is in the mid seven-figure range.
Oscar-nominee Gosling will play actor Paul Cole who becomes stranded in 1950s Ohio after a brutal attack. Suffering from severe memory loss, he struggles to find his way back to his life in New York and reclaim what he has lost.
The hot virtual EFM project is based on the best-selling noir novel Memory by Donald E. Westlake. Johnson penned the script alongside Stephen Cooney. Johnson’s Anomalisa collaborator Charlie Kaufman has newly boarded as executive producer. (Source)
In this New York Times profile from last July, it was stated that "in April, [Kaufman] busied himself a little, taking a job adapting a short story for Ryan Gosling’s production company." I don't think Memory has anything to do with that, unless the Times got "short story" wrong.
Gotta say, Donald Westlake is one of my all-time fave writers. Primarily he wrote hardboiled crime novels and comedic crime capers, nothing you would typically associate with Kaufman. He co-wrote the screenplay for the original The Stepfather film. (Terry O'Quinn was freaking great in it.) Point Blank with Lee Marvin was based on one of his novels, likewise 2013's Parker with Jason Statham. Memory was released by Hard Case Crime, who have the best covers in publishing. I have it on my shelf but haven't read it yet.
Thanks to BartonCotard on Reddit.