While we don’t yet know what film Ari Aster will be making as his Midsommar follow-up, he’s now come aboard a new project: a remake of one of his favorite films of all-time. The Hereditary director recently shared his love for the Korean cult classic Save the Green Planet! and he’s now going to back an English-language version alongside his producing partner Lars Knudsen and CJ Entertainment.
Directed by Joon-hwan Jang, who will return to helm this new version based on a script by Will Tracy (Succession), the 2003 original is a black comedy meets sci-fi thriller, and a whole lot more. We imagine the success and worldwide embrace of Parasite had a bit to do with these happenings, and hopefully this material will translate well to the world of Hollywood. See the summary below.
In the original film, 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.
“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,” said Ari Aster and Lars Knudsen. “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.”
See the trailer for the original, which is now available on Kanopy, below.