By Gregory Kirschling and Ari Karpel
Updated July 09, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

MOVIES It was a dark and stormy morning. Genius writer Charlie Kaufman — ”Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” screenplay guy and guest of honor at the drizzly Nantucket Film Festival — was discussing his new script, which he’s writing for Sony with his ”Adaptation” coconspirator, director Spike Jonze. ”This is the first time that Spike has been involved from the inception,” he said. ”We pitched it together.” Please, tell us about it. ”No, I’d rather not,” he said. ”I wouldn’t know what to say.” Does Sony have you on a deadline? ”They don’t seem to,” he said. ”Might be good if they did.” And then he laughed and laughed…. ”I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be,” said Scarlett Johansson in ”Lost in Translation.” Word is, now she’s supposed to be in the 36th (36th? Oof-tah!) film from the ever-secretive Woody Allen. She’s filling in for Kate Winslet, who dropped out. Man, ”Lost in Translation” — that was a good movie…. EW cover boy Michael Moore, director of ”Fahrenheit 9/11” (which the Deal Report, partly on the recommendation of Madonna, saw and really liked), is gonna helm the video for one of the film’s tunes, Neil Young’s oldie ”Rockin’ in the Free World.” The vid — featuring rockin’ movie footage and rockin’ Neil Young — should hit in, like, a month.

BOOKS Michael Chabon, the ”Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” novelist who’s one of the lucky screenwriters who worked on ”Spider-Man 2,” is polishing off a ”mystery-thriller with a twist” called ”The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.” ”It’s set in an alternative universe,” he says, ”where instead of there being a Hebrew-speaking Jewish nationalist state in the Middle East, there’s a Yiddish-speaking Jewish state in Alaska.” There’s not one already?