Cult Korean thriller Save the Green Planet to get English-speaking remake

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

Save the Green Planet, Korea, remake

After director Bong Joon Ho's PARASITE made entertainment history by becoming the first foreign film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards, Hollywood has been searching for the next big thing hailing from the Korean film market. As such, while sifting through a series of gems left unappreciated by North American audiences, PARASITE producer CJ is planning to join forces with MIDSOMMAR and HEREDITARY duo Ari Aster and Lars Knudsen for an English-language speaking remake of SAVE THE GREEN PLANET!

In the original 2003 film directed and written by Joon-Hwan Jang, a man by the name of Byeong-gu believes that the world is on the verge of an alien invasion, and sets out to save the planet.

The newly-announced project will find the original film's writer-director returning to helm the remake. Meanwhile, CJ Group Vice Chairwoman Miky Lee, CJ Entertainment’s Young-ki Cho and Jerry Ko will executive produce. Finally, Francis Chung, CJ’s Head of U.S. Productions, and Aster and Knudsen will all act as producers on the re-imagining of Jang's bizarre black comedy.

Here's the full plot synopsis for SAVE THE GREEN PLANET:

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 disheveled 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.

I must admit that it's been ages since I've seen SAVE THE GREEN PLANET. I'd rented it the week it had arrived on DVD, and from what I can recall, the film is delightfully deranged and could make for a great cinematic experience upon its reconfigured release.

In commenting on giving SAVE THE GREEN PLANET a spit shine for new audiences, CJ's Mikey Lee said, “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.”

Ari Aster and Lars Knudsen then added:

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.

Are you a fan of this Korean black comedy? Does the plot sound strange enough to pique your interest? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.