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Yorgos Lanthimos Sets Remake of Korean Fantasy Film ‘Save the Green Planet’ With ‘Poor Things’ Producer Element Pictures (EXCLUSIVE)


Poor Things” director Yorgos Lanthimos will reteam with Element Pictures on a remake of South Korean fantasy comedy “Save the Green Planet,Variety has learned.

Lanthimos — whose latest film, “Poor Things,” is nominated for 11 Oscars and just won five BAFTAs (including best actress for Emma Stone) — is expected to start shooting the movie in the U.K. and New York this summer. Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe at Element Pictures will produce the movie alongside Ari Aster’s Square Peg and CJ ENM (previously named CJ Entertainment). It will mark the sixth collaboration between Lanthimos and Element Pictures.

The long-gestated project, which seems to be a perfect Lanthimos vehicle, is an eccentric black comedy involving a disillusioned young man who captures and tortures a businessman whom 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 original South Korean film was directed by Jang Joon-hwan in 2003 and became a cult hit and festival favorite for CJ Entertainment. “Green Planet” won prizes at fantasy festivals including those in Bucheon, Buenos Aires and Brussels, and markets including Rotterdam, Tokyo Filmex and Moscow. It also earned Jang the Golden Bell Award for best new director in Korea in 2003.

Jang himself was previously attached to direct the remake of the film, based on a screenplay by Will Tracy, whose credits include HBO’s “Succession” and Searchlight’s “The Menu.”

Both CJ ENM and Element Pictures had no comment. CJ ENM has a large library of Korean and Asian film and TV content and has remade several of its high-concept library titles, such as the 2014 musical comedy “Miss Granny,” which has been remade in at least nine local language versions. The South Korean company has also set up “The Classic” for a Thai remake.

The outfit’s U.S. division, CJ America, has sought leading Hollywood directors for several of its titles, most recently Michael Mann on a revamp of “Veteran.”

Lanthimos has already shot another film since “Poor Things.” His next movie, “Kinds of Kindness,” entered post-production a couple months ago, and stars Stone, Margaret Qualley, Willem Dafoe and Joe Alwyn.