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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Emma Stone to star in U.S. remake of Korean cult classic ‘Save the Green Planet!’

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The poster of ″Save the Green Planet!,″ left, and actor Emma Stone [CJ ENM, REUTERS]
The poster of ″Save the Green Planet!,″ left, and actor Emma Stone [CJ ENM, REUTERS]

Emma Stone will lead a remake of the 2003 Korean film “Save the Green Planet!” with “Poor Things” (2023) director Yorgos Lanthimos at the helm.

The Korean film, the directorial debut of auteur Jang Joon-hwan, will be newly adapted into a Hollywood film titled “Bugonia,” according to the Korean film distributor CJ ENM.

“Save the Green Planet!” is a black comedy thriller with a pseudo-Scientology theme that revolves around a disturbed man, played by actor Shin Ha-kyun, who believes that aliens will invade Earth on the day of a total lunar eclipse. The man kidnaps a company CEO, convinced that the executive is an alien, so that he can meet the alien prince.

Director Jang received several awards for “Save the Green Planet!” including the Best New Director award from the Daejong International Film Awards in 2003. He went on to direct hit films such as “Hwayi: A Monster Boy” (2013), “The Running Actress” (2017) and “1987: When the Day Comes” (2017).

“Save the Green Planet!” failed at the box office when it premiered, but has been recognized as an “underrated masterpiece” by fans due to its novel storyline and “B-rated film sentiment.”

Following the Korean film’s plot, “Bugonia” will also tell the story of two protagonists who are obsessed with conspiracy theories, who then kidnap a famous pharmaceutical firm CEO, convinced that the CEO is an alien who came to Earth to destroy the planet.

“Bugonia” will mark the third collaboration between Lanthimos and Stone, following “The Favourite” (2018) and “Poor Things.” Stone won the Best Actress award at this year’s Academy Awards for her role in “Poor Things.”

CJ ENM was named as a coproduction company alongside film production companies Square Peg, founded by “Midsommar” (2019) director Ari Aster, and Element Pictures, which have collaborated with Lanthimos several times.

CJ ENM has been working on the U.S. remake “Save the Green Planet!” for the past four years, it said.

“We started planning the project with the goal of revitalizing Jang’s visionary work, which was ahead of its time and underappreciated 20 years ago, according to today’s standards,” CJ ENM said. “By promoting the valuable assets of the Korean film industry, we aim to open up new opportunities for filmmakers.”

BY LEE HAY-JUNE [kjdculture@joongang.co.kr]