Arthur Herzog’s acclaimed novel IQ 83 is headed to the big screen. Deadline reported yesterday that Charlie Kaufman has been tapped to do a page one rewrite of the 1978 science fiction novel. Steve Carell is set to play Dr. James Healey, the lead scientist responsible for unleashing an airborne virus that slowly makes people dumber.
Although the virus is not deadly, it does steadily lower the afflicted’s IQ. Dr. Healey tries to find a cure, however, he is also stricken with the disease. It becomes a race against time for Healey. Will he find a cure before he becomes too simple?
Although Herzog wrote the novel as a serious science fiction story, Paramount plans to reimagine the film as a satire, “on the order of Doctor Strangelove.”
Charlie Kaufman is well-known for his imaginative screenplays that bend the perception of reality. A puppeteer finds a portal into John Malkovich’s brain in the fantasy Being John Malkovich, a lovesick woman erases the memories of a painful relationship in the science fiction-romantic comedy Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the book of an author with writer’s block is played out in a separate meta-narrative in Adaptation. All three of those scripts received an Academy Award nomination, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind earned Kaufman the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2004.
Carell is currently receiving high praise and Oscar buzz for his role as murderous financier John DuPont, a paranoid schizophrenic, in the film Foxcatcher. The movie, which is based on a true story, tells the tale of Olympic Champions Mark Schultz and brother Dave Schultz, and their tragic relationship with DuPont. The Schultz brothers are played by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo.
So far a director has not been attached to IQ 83, as the script is still in its beginning stages.