CJ Entertainment, the studio behind multi-Oscar-winner “Parasite,” is poised to remake Korean classic “Save The Green Planet” in English. It will produce with Square Peg, the Ari Aster and Lars Knudsen label behind recent breakout “Midsommar.”
The story is an eccentric and particularly black comedy involving a disillusioned young man who captures and tortures a businessman who he believes to be part of an alien invasion. A battle of wits ensues between the captor, his devoted girlfriend, the businessman and a private detective.
The 2003 original was a cult hit that collected prizes at fantasy festivals including those in Bucheon, Buenos Aires and Brussels, and mainstream events including Rotterdam, Tokyo Filmex, and Moscow. “Green Planet” earned Jang Joon-hwan the Golden Bell award for best new director in Korea the same year.
Jang is now set to direct the remake, from an English-language adapted script by Will Tracy (HBO’s “Succession” and Searchlight’s “The Menu”).
Executive producers are CJ Group vice chair Miky Lee, CJ Entertainment’s Cho Young-ki and Jerry Ko. Producers are Francis Chung, CJ’s head of U.S. productions, Aster (director and writer of “Midsommar” and “Hereditary”) and Knudsen (producer of “Midsommar” and “Hereditary”).
Fred Lee, CJ Entertainment’s Los Angeles-based director of development, Ini Chung, CJ’s Seoul-based director of development, and Seoul-based production executive Khan Kwon are co-producing and will oversee development of the project.
“One thing we learned from our success with ‘Parasite’ is that audiences globally are excited to see genre-bending films with big themes,” said Lee. The remake will aim to “translate what made the original so special to an English language version that feels relevant to what’s going on today,” she said.
Aster and Knudsen describe the project as “swinging with youthful abandon between white-knuckle suspense, absurd slapstick, grim horror and a deeply felt (and earned) sense of tragedy.”
Adam Mehr at McCathern Law negotiated the remake deals on behalf of CJ Entertainment. Tracy is represented by WME and Hansen Jacobson.
CJ is also working on two other English-language remakes with Kevin Hart and Universal Pictures: “Extreme Job,” and female-driven dramedy, “Bye, Bye, Bye,” a female-skewing drama based on CJ’s smash hit “Sunny.”
Its development slate also includes Phyllis Nagy’s “The Vanished,” Drake Doremus’ “Aurora”, horror film “Housemaid” written by Geoffrey Fletcher; a remake of Korean crime thriller “The Merciless,” and “Hide and Seek,” directed by Joel David Moore and starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, which is a remake of the 2013 Korean social horror-thriller of the same title.
CJ Entertainment recently launched a new specialty genre label, 413 Pictures, under which all CJ Entertainment genre films, with a focus on elevated thriller and supernatural horror films, will be released.
Last year’s “Parasite,” directed by Bong Joon-ho, had its debut in competition at the Cannes festival. There it won the Palme d’Or before going on to earn more than 200 other prizes, four Oscars, including best picture in February this year, and a worldwide theatrical gross of $254 million.