Parasite producer CJ is lining up another genre-bending treat. The Korean powerhouse is teaming up with Midsommar and Hereditary duo Ari Aster and Lars Knudsen on an English-language remake of cult Korean movie Save The Green Planet!
The off-beat, black comedy-sci-fi mashup from 2003 follows a man who believes the world is on the verge of an alien invasion and sets out to save the planet by first kidnapping his boss. Check out the wild trailer for the original below.
CJ, which also produced the 2003 film, will finance and produce alongside Aster and Knudsen’s Square Peg production banner.
The original film’s writer-director Joon-hwan Jang will return to direct the movie. CJ and Jang most recently teamed up on 2017 political thriller 1987: When The Day Comes. Will Tracy, writer on HBO’s Succession and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, has been tapped to write the adapted screenplay.
Executive producers are CJ Group Vice Chairwoman Miky Lee, CJ Entertainment’s Young-ki Cho and Jerry Ko. Producers are Francis Chung, CJ’s Head of U.S. Productions, and Aster and Knudsen.
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. Adam Mehr at McCathern Law negotiated the remake deals on behalf of CJ Entertainment.
The original movie played at Cannes, Toronto, Hong Kong and Jeonju festivals, among others.
Here’s the bizarro plot in full: Joon-hwan Jang imagines the fate of the human race hinging on Byun-gu, a bitter, paranoid and eccentric beekeeper who, with the help of his tightrope walker girlfriend, Sooni, kidnaps a powerful and successful businessman, Man-sik. Byun-gu believes that Man-sik is an alien from the planet Andromeda, one of many hiding among us and plotting to destroy the Earth in a few days. Amphetamine-popping Byun-gu sees himself as the planet’s last hope, and sets about torturing Man-sik with relish, trying to convince him to contact the “Royal Prince” and call off Armageddon. A battle of wits and wills ensues, with Man-sik trying to convince his captors that he’s human and attempting to escape. Man-sik recognizes Byun-gu as a disgruntled former employee whose comatose mother suffers from a mysterious illness. It begins to seem that Byun-gu’s true motivation may be personal, but he’s still ruthlessly determined to get Man-sik to confess and cooperate, even if he has to risk killing him. Meanwhile, a dishevelled detective, Chu, and his young acolyte, Inspector Kim, discover that the person who kidnapped Man-sik may have struck several times before, always with deadly results.
Said CJ’s Miky Lee, “One thing we learned from our success with Parasite is that audiences globally are excited to see genre-bending films with big themes. Jang is a master of this in his own right, and we’re so glad to be working alongside Ari, Lars, and Will to help translate what made the original so special to an English language version that feels relevant to what’s going on today.”
Commented Ari Aster and Lars Knudsen, “Swinging with youthful abandon between white-knuckle suspense, absurd slapstick, grim horror and a deeply felt (and earned) sense of tragedy, Save The Green Planet! is one of the most remarkable films to come out of South Korea – among this recent wave or any wave, for that matter. When we heard that director Jang was passionate about revisiting this iconic work, bringing it to the US and updating it to reflect the mess of the world today (which feels even more ripe for this kind of apocalyptic skewering than when the film was first released), we leapt at the chance to be a part of it. We’re honored to be partnering with CJ and with the brilliant director Jang.”
CJ’s growing slate of English-language originals and remakes of Korean hits include Extreme Job, which is one of two current collaborations with Kevin Hart and Universal. Additional projects include Phyllis Nagy’s The Vanished, Drake Doremus’s Aurora, Geoffrey Fletcher’s Housemaid, remake The Merciless and Jonathan Rhys Meyers-starrer Hide And Seek.
Will Tracy is represented by WME and Hansen Jacobson. Aster is repped by WME and Elia. Knudson is repped by WME.