Take a deep breath and imagine Tralfamadore with Guillermo del Toro as its God and Charlie Kaufman as God’s righthand man. According to The Daily Telegraph (vie The Playlist), del Toro has brought on the writer behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to adapt Kurt Vonnegut‘s unstuck-in-time novel “Slaughterhouse-Five.” With del Toro’s experience with The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth, and Kaufman’s Escher-designed brain, they seem like a perfect pair to visually solve Vonnegut’s gorgeous Rubik’s Cube of sci-fi delirium and wartime madness as seen through the eyes of an optimistic WWII chaplain’s assistant and part-time alien abductee.
“Charlie and I talked for about an hour-and-a-half and came up with a perfect way of doing the book. I love the idea of the Tralfamadorians to be ‘unstuck in time,’ where everything is happening at the same time. And that’s what I want to do,” del Toro said, adding, “It’s just a catch-22. The studio [Universal] 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!”
Of course the news comes with the usual grain of salt that seasons every would-be project from del Toro. He’s got a lot on his plate — more if Pacific Rim is a hit — so even as it’s thrilling to see this partnership bloom at the script stage, there are a million miles to go before it’s on the screen. It’s not like we can start dreamcasting who Ron Perlman will play (Kilgore Trout), but in the meantime we can still enjoy George Roy Hill’s 1972 adaptation or, you know, actually read the book itself. While humming with excitement.