Save the Green Planet!: Ari Aster producing English remake of South Korean film
According to Deadline, Midsommar director Ari Aster has officially signed on to team up with CJ Entertainment (Parasite) to develop and produce an English-language remake of director Jang Joon-hwan’s 2003 South Korean black comedy sci-fi film titled Save the Green Planet. In addition, Succession writer Will Tracy has also been tapped to pen the English adaptation with Jang returning to make his U.S. directorial debut.
“One thing we learned from our success with Parasite is that audiences globally are excited to see genre-bending films with big themes.” CJ’s Miky Lee said in a statement. “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.”
Save the Green Planet! was written and directed by Jang Joo-hwan. It starred acclaimed South Korean actor Shin Ha-kyun (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance), where it follows the story of a man named Byeong-gu, who believes that he’s the only that could save the world from an impending alien invasion from the planet Andromeda. With the help of his circus performing girlfriend Sooni, he kidnaps a powerful business executive named Man-sik, who Byeong-gu believes is an alien disguised as a human. After he brings Man-sik to his basement lair, he proceeds to torture him in order to make Man-sik confess about his true nature and contact the Andromedan prince to stop their attack. A battle of wits and wills ensues, with Man-sik trying to convince Byeong-gu and Sooni that they have mistaken.
Since its theatrical release in 2003, it had received positive reviews and numerous recognition from South Korea’s award-giving bodies including the Blue Dragon Film Awards and Busan Film Critics Awards. The film also had international premieres in Cannes, Toronto, Hong Kong and Brussels festivals.
“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,” Aster and Knudsen said. “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.”
Save the Green Planet! will be produced by Ari Aster and Lars Knudsen (Hereditary, Midsommar) through their Square Peg banner. The film will be executive produced by CJ Group Vice Chairwoman Miky Lee, CJ Entertainment’s Young-ki Cho and Jerry Ko with CJ’s Head of U.S. Productions, Francis Chung set as a producer. CJ’s Fred Lee, Ini Chung, and Khan Kwon are also producing and overseeing the project.