It would be difficult for anyone to find an odder pairing than screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and the bumbling hero in Kung Fu Panda, but according to reports, that’s a match that has occurred recently.
Apparently Kaufman was brought in by DreamWorks to pen some touch-ups to the existing script for Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom, the sequel to the surprise animated hit of 2008. Kaufman’s spit-shine of the script, written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, is completely out of the realms that he usually works within.
Kaufman is best known as the writer of two of my own personal favorite movies, Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. He also wrote Being John Malkovich, Human Nature, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and Synecdoche, New York, which he also directed.
The original Kung Fu Panda was directed by Mark Osborne and John Stevenson, and featured the voice of Jack Black as an overweight clutz of a panda bear named Po who somehow ends up being dubbed the Dragon Warrior, the highest of possible distinctions for a kung fu warrior to achieve. This infuriates the most-likely choices for the title (and Po’s heroes), Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Crane (David Cross), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu), and Monkey (Jackie Chan), as well as their master, Shifu (Dustin Hoffman).
Illustrator and story artist on the original Jennifer Yuh will be making her directorial debut with Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom, which is set for release on June 3, 2011.