EXCLUSIVE: Fox is taking a fresh start on A Bittersweet Life, with Michael B. Jordan attached to star and Jennifer Yuh Nelson to direct the action-thriller remake of the cult classic 2005 Korean film.
Jordan will play a mobster whose longtime loyalties to his crime family are challenged when his boss orders him to kill a mistress he’s recently grown close to. The filmmakers see this as a high-concept, character-driven genre film with franchise potential. 21 Laps’ Shawn Levy, Dan Levine and Dan Cohen are producing in conjunction with CJ Entertainment, the latter of which made the original film. Jason Young will oversee for Fox.
Nelson comes from animation; she got an Oscar nom for directing Kung Fu Panda 2, and she co-directed Kung Fu Panda 3. She made her live-action debut directing the sci-fi thriller The Darkest Minds for Fox and 21 Laps, based on the Alexandra Bracken bestselling YA trilogy. Jordan reteamed with Creed director Ryan Coogler in Marvel’s Black Panther and is starring with Michael Shannon in the Ramin Bahrai-directed Fahrenheit 451 for HBO. He’ll reprise in the Creed sequel, with Sylvester Stallone currently working on that script for MGM.
This marks another splashy project for 21 Laps, whose Denise Villenueve-directed Best Picture nominee Arrival, which Eric Heisserer wrote based on the Ted Chiang short story, just won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form. 21 Laps produced that with FilmNation and Lava Bear. The 21 Laps series Stranger Things is up for 18 Emmys including Best Drama series, and returns Halloween on Netflix, with its Comic-Con trailer racking up 172 million views on YouTube and Facebook.
Nelson, Jordan and 21 Laps are repped by WME. Nelson’s lawyered by Hansen Jacobson, and attorney Gregory Slewett and Levy’s company is lawyered by Ziffren Brittenham.