Charlie Kaufman is a venerated screenwriter and director, and a four-time Oscar nominee for the likes of Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Adaptation. And soon he’ll be able to add another, less expected line to that resume: Netflix original film director.
The world’s largest streamer just debuted a first look trailer at Kaufman’s upcoming I’m Thinking of Ending Things, a psychological horror drama based on the 2016 novel from Ian Reid. And woah, is this trailer immediately a trip—it’s not at all shy about proclaiming what a puzzler I’m Thinking of Ending Things is sure to be. Or in other words, it looks like classic Kaufman, evidence that Netflix is moving ever closer to releasing a steady stream of “theatrical quality” original films from A-list talent.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things follows a young woman as she goes to meet her boyfriend’s parents for the first time, but it’s clear that this is where easy description ends. The trip turns into a nightmarish detour, stripping their personal identities bare as one or both—or every character, really—seems to be undergoing a total mental breakdown. Is something supernatural afoot? Or is this the sort of film that won’t come within a country mile of ever trying to explain itself? We look forward to finding out, but Netflix wouldn’t have brought Kaufman aboard if they were planning to play it safe.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things can boast a solid core cast, which includes Jesse Plemons, Jessie Buckley, David Thewlis and Toni Collette, presumably channeling some of the same insanity she lent to her mother character in Ari Aster’s Hereditary. Check out the first trailer below for the film, which hits Netflix on Sept. 4, 2020.