Hoping to gain another franchise opportunity, Lionsgate last year acquired the young adult series ‘Chaos Walking’ from author Patrick Ness. The project is finally moving forward and now has a scribe to adapt the first novel in the series.

Lionsgate has announced that they have signed on Charlie Kaufman to write the screenplay. This is an interesting move on Lionsgate’s part as unlike director Gary Ross, who followed the novel closely for the  ‘The Hunger Games,’ Kaufman is more known to adapting novels in a more surrealistic manner oftentimes taking the subject matter in an abstract or parapsychological framework.

Kaufman will be adapting the first novel of the ‘Chaos Walking’ series called ‘’The Knife of Never Letting Go.’ Here is a book description from Amazon:

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

The premise of the series seems like it is a perfect fit for Kaufman. Some of his works include ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’ (based on the memoirs of Chuck Barris), ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’, and ‘Being John Malkovich.’ With these credentials, you can see why hiring Kaufman to write the screenplay for the first book in the series is exciting. He is one of the few screenwriters that can successfully take a novel’s theme and successfully creative avenues not found in the pages of the books they are based upon.

Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long before he can get around to writing this screenplay as he is currently in the process of directing the musical film ‘Frank or Francis’ based on a script that he wrote about a spiteful blogger (played by Jack Black) who feuds with a film director (played by Steve Carell). Of course being Kaufman, that’s not all to the story but that’s what makes his material all the more fun watching.