The film is to begin shooting early in 2015 with casting for the main leads currently in progress.
Waters’ novel is set in Victorian England and revolves around a young, female petty thief and an heiress who fall in love. Published in 2002, it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In 2005, it was adapted for TV into a 2-part drama series for the BBC starring Sally Hawkins (“Happy-Go-Lucky”). Park will geographically and temporally relocate it to early 20th century Korea, when the country was under Japanese rule. The Korean title is “Agassi” which translates as ‘young lady.’
The film will be Park’s first Korean-language feature in 6 years, following 2009’s “Thirst” starring Song Kang-ho. In between he directed “Stoker,” with Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode, and was a producer on Bong Joon-ho’s hit “Snowpiercer.”
“Agassi” is to be produced by Park’s own Moho Film and Yong Film (The Target) which is run by Syd Lym, producer for Park’s Oldboy. Budgets, distribution and international sales have yet to be finalized.
Organizers of the Busan festival announced Tuesday that they will screen Park’s short, “A Rose Reborn” in the Wide Angle section.