Charlie Kaufman, the brain behind the cerebral cult classic films Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich, once wrote a play, as he describes, to fill in for the Coen Brothers in 2005 with a limited cast consisting of David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) and Tom Noonan. In 2010, he was approached by colleague Dino Stamatopoulos about an animated adaptation of said play, entitled Anomalisa. With an $8 million budget that was crowd funded on Kickstarter and eventually picked up by Paramount, the film has been slowly building attention by critics and praised by audiences that have seen the film.
Anomalisa was co-directed by Duke Johnson, animator for Dan Harmon’s Starburns Industries, after making his start on the Community season two holiday episode, “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas.”
To date, Anomalisa has been a Golden Globe nominee for Best Animated Picture, and received a win for the Best Director award at Fantastic Fest, among other accolades in the 2016 awards season.
The following is a roundtable interview session with co-directors Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson after a screening of the film in Boston on January 8. You can also read a full review of Anomalisa, and view the film in theaters right now!