Adaptation was written by Charlie Kaufman and based upon The Orchid Thief, a book by Susan Orlean. Kaufman's journey of battling writer's block in adapting the book become the film that Spike Jonze directed. It was released in 2002 with a budget of $19,000,000. It would go on to gross over $32 million and become a recipient of multiple awards. Kaufman won a BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and Chris Cooper won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Orlean initially rejected the idea of Kaufman's screenplay as she had the final say as to whether the film would go or not. Kaufman believed that the script he turned in would certainly ruin his career, but Orlean then later agreed to allow the film to be made; it became a picture she loves, as it stayed faithful to the themes inherent in the book.
The film depicts Kaufman's struggles to write the screenplay and his journey of self-discovery that he undergoes along the way. He reflects on his issues with his relationship with his twin brother Donald, and how his life has been impacted by his work. Kaufman also contemplates the idea of being able to write a story that captures the essence of the book, and whether it is even possible. He also meets Donald's girlfriend, who helps him to see the beauty of the natural world and to appreciate the world around him. Kaufman eventually finds the inspiration he needs to write the screenplay and the film was released to critical acclaim. It was praised for its inventive use of visual effects and its ability to capture the essence of the book. Adaptation has become a cult classic and is a testament to Kaufman's writing talents.