Korean director Kim Jee-woon is turning to crime, coming on board to helm the movie adaptation of Ed Brubaker’s “Coward.”
The attachment comes on the eve of the premiere of Kim’s latest film, “The X,” at the Busan Intl. Film Festival. His best-known Korean titles are “I Saw the Devil” and “A Bittersweet Life”; he made his English-language debut earlier this year on Arnold Schwarzenegger actioner “The Last Stand.”
Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell of Electric City Entertainment are producing. Nick Meyer’s Sierra/Affinity is attached to finance the project and handle international sales.
“Coward” is the first book in Brubaker’s Criminal graphic novel series written and an Eisner Award winner for best new series.
Brubaker adapted the screenplay, which takes place in a universe of hustlers, crooked cops, pickpockets and other lowlifes. The story centers on a second-generation heist planner who can be relied on to have a bulletproof exit plan.
“Kim Jee-Woon is exactly the type of filmmaker with which we are looking to collaborate,”Patricof said. “His previous work consists of elevated genre films, set in interesting worlds, with three-dimensional characters, which makes him a very strong and exciting partner for ‘Coward.'”
Patricof has been developing “Coward” since 2011, when “Twilight: Eclipse” helmer David Slade was attached to direct.
Brubaker and illustrator Sean Phillips won the Eisner Award for “Criminal” as best new series in 2007. Brubaker also won Eisner awards for writing in 2007, 2008 and 2010 for his work on “Captain America,” “Daredevil” and other titles and won a limited series award last year for “Criminal: The Last of the Innocent.”
Patricof and Howell produced “The Place Beyond the Pines” and “Blue Valentine” through Hunting Lane before forming Electric City last year.