EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios is turning the Yōko Ogawa novel The Memory Police into a feature, and it has an enviable filmmaking team to bring it to life. The Handmaid Tale’s Reed Morano will direct and produce, and Charlie Kaufman will write the script based on the National Book Award-nominated surrealist tale that recently was translated and released by Pantheon Books in English, 25 years after its debut in Japan.
Here is the logline: On an unnamed island off an unnamed coast, things have begun to disappear — at first little things: ribbons and then roses. Soon, photographs. However, a rare few are able to remember all that no longer exists, but the Memory Police are determined to make sure that what has been erased, remains forgotten forever. When a young novelist realizes her book editor is one of those able to still remember, she hides him in a room beneath her floorboards. As the world closes in around them, they struggle defiantly to hold onto the truth.
Morano in 2017 became the first woman to win the Best Director Emmy and the DGA Award in the same year, for the pilot of The Handmaid’s Tale, and her feature credits include I Think We’re Alone Now, Meadowland and most recently The Rhythm Section. She’ll next direct for Amazon The Power, a 10-part global thriller based on the Naomi Alderman novel. She’s also attached to direct Nicole Kidman in Pretty Things, and also The Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence for Amazon and Blumhouse, and has Zoe Saldana attached to star in Sabaya.
Kaufman, who won the Oscar for scripting Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, just wrote and directed I’m Thinking of Ending Things for Netflix, with Jesse Plemons and Toni Collette starring.
Morano is repped by CAA and LBI Entertainment; Kaufman is with WME and Hansen Jacobson; and Ogawa is repped with ICM Partners, Japan Foreign Rights Centre and Anonymous Content.