Guillermo del Toro Has Charlie Kaufman Writing Slaughterhouse-Five


Guillermo del Toro needs to stop toying with my emotions. Every five seconds I hear about a new, awesome film he wants to make and I have this terrifying feeling that he’ll never get around to it. I still hold out hope for someday seeing At The Mountains Of Madness, but that’s been receding. Now we learn that del Toro plans at some point to film an adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-Five. Oh, and he has Charlie Kaufman writing it.

Wait. Beg pardon? Charlie Kaufman, the guy behind Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, is writing a script based on a Kurt Vonnegut novel? Apparently so. Del Toro recently mentioned the project to The Daily Telegraph, saying that he’d like to get the movie made:

The studio will make it when it”s my next movie, but how can I commit to it being my next movie until there’s a screenplay? Charlie Kaufman is a very expensive writer!

Slaughterhouse-Five tells the story of Billy Pilgrim, an American soldier captured during the Battle of the Bulge and imprisoned in a disused slaughterhouse in Dresden. During the bombing of Dresden, the POWs in the slaughterhouse are among the few to survive. But Pilgrim has become ‘unstuck in time,’ causing him to randomly experience different events in his life. This is all wrapped up with the Tralfamadorians, an alien species for whom everything exists simultaneously.

Del Toro is particularly attracted to the concept of the Tralfamadorians:

I love the idea of the Trafalmadorians — to be ‘unstuck in time,’ where everything is happening at the same time. And that’s what I want to do.

For God’s sake, get this movie made. Get all the movies made. I don’t have any money, but if I did, I’d contribute.

Slaughterhouse-Five has already been a movie once before, made in 1972 by director George Roy Hill. The story could make a fascinating film for del Toro, especially with Kaufman penning the script. It will certainly be a bit different from what del Toro has done previously, but this director always finds a way to put a very unique spin on things.

Del Toro has a lot on his plate right now, with the TV series of The Strain, his gothic horror film Crimson Peak, and all the other plans and ideas he’s been working on for years. Something’s bound to get made. Maybe Slaughterhouse-Five will be the next.