Charlie Kaufman Adapting I.Q. 83 for Steve Carell

Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI
Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI

Charlie Kaufman, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, is to adapt a sci-fi novel for Paramount Pictures.

Deadline reports that Kaufman has been hired to do a page one rewrite of I.Q. 83, Arthur Herzog’s ’78 science fiction novel that tells of an airborne virus lowering the IQ of the masses.

Paramount intends for Steve Carell to play Dr. James Healey, a scientist struggling to find a cure — “even as he feels himself growing dumber.”

Andrew Lazar, who produced the Kaufman-scripted Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and the Carell-starring reboot of Get Smart, is producing the adaptation alongside Walter Parkes (Gladiator, The Road to Perdition).

Apparently Lazar has been trying to get this project up and running for a good while now. It was set up at DreamWorks close to 20 years ago, where a few writers took a stab, and then the project moved to Paramount.

Though Herzog’s book was original written as serious fiction, Deadline reports that the new take will be more of “a scathing satire, on the order of Doctor Strangelove, the 1964 Stanley Kubrick-directed classic.”

This sounds highly promising. Kaufman’s stylings could suit this take on the story greatly, and it’ll be fantastic to see Carell bouncing off a Kaufman screenplay. Fingers crossed this goes smoothly.