Daniel Dae Kim will star in and executive produce a series adaptation of the graphic novel “Butterfly” currently in development at Amazon, Variety has learned exclusively.
The project is described as a character-driven spy thriller. Per the official logline, the series centers on “David Jung (Kim), an enigmatic, highly unpredictable former US intelligence operative living in South Korea, whose life is blown to pieces when the consequences of an impossible decision from his past come back to haunt him, and he finds himself pursued by Rebecca, a deadly, sociopathic young agent assigned to kill him.” According to sources, the series would shoot in South Korea and feature both Korean and English dialogue.
The “Butterfly” graphic novel was created by Arash Amel and written by Amel and Marguerite Bennett. It was illustrated by Antonio Fuso and Stefano Simeone. It was originally published by BOOM! Studios in 2015.
Ken Woodruff (“The Mentalist,” “Gotham”) is co-creating the series with novelist Steph Cha. Both will also serve as executive producers. Kim executive produces under his 3AD banner along with John Cheng. Stephen Christy and Ross Richie are executive producing for BOOM! Studios, with Amel executive producing via The Amel Company. Adam Yoelin serves as co-executive producer. Amazon Studios will produce, with 3AD currently under a first-look TV deal at Amazon.
“Ken and Steph have come up with a compelling series with truly unique characters, and having it be an international story set in Korea makes it even more meaningful to me,” Kim said. “With Stephen Christy, BOOM! Studios and the Amel Company, we’ve assembled a stellar creative team, and 3AD is proud to have this be its inaugural effort with Amazon Studios.”
Should the project go to series, it would be Kim’s first lead role in a what would be a multi-season scripted series, though he has previously starred in limited and anthology series. It would also mark his first regular television role in nearly six years after he and Grace Park famously exited the CBS reboot of “Hawaii Five-O” over a lack of pay equality with their co-stars.
Kim is perhaps best known for his role in the hit ABC series “Lost.” He has since gone on to star in shows like “The Andromeda Strain” miniseries and “The Hot Zone” Season 2. In addition, he has lent his voice to animated shows like “The Legend of Korra” and “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.” He will also portray Fire Lord Ozai in the upcoming Netflix live-action version of “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” In film, Kim has been in features like “Hellboy,” “Insurgent,” “Allegiant,” “The Jackal,” “For The Love of The Game,” and “Crash.” Kim has also been increasingly active as a producer since founding 3AD in 2015. Most notably, the company produces the hit ABC medical drama “The Good Doctor,” on which Kim has also appeared multiple times as Dr. Jackson Han.
Kim and 3AD are repped by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, and Gang Tyre. BOOM! is repped by UTA and Matt Saver. Woodruff is repped by Jared Levine. Amel is repped by Grandview and David Fox.