“The Villainess” Director Jung Byung-Gil Tapped for Gerard Butler’s “Afterburn”


AfterburnJungByungGilGetty Images / Red 5 Comics

Neal Moritz’s Original , Gerard Butler’s G-BASE and Endurance Media have been trying to make a movie based on the Red 5 Comics series  for quite a number of years, but they’ve finally found their director in Korean filmmaker Jung Byung-gil, the Tracking Board can confirm.

Director Jung’s 2017 film The Villainess made waves when it premiered at Cannes, which it followed with screenings at the New York Asian Festival and Fantasia before being released by Well Go USA in late August. His previous film Confessions of a Murder was adapted into the Japanese film Memoirs of a Murder. 

Moritz will produce with Original ’s Toby Jaffe, along with Alan Siegel and Butler for G-BASE, Endurance Media’s Steve Richards and Jung’s partner Lewis Taewan Kim. Exec. producers on the project are Steve Barnett and James Tomlinson. Hopes are to start sometime this summer.

Endurance Media is financing the film with ’s Christian Mercuri handling international sales at the European Market in Berlin, as well as co-financing and acting as exec. producer.

Written by Paul Ens and  Scott Chitwood with art by Wayne Nichols, the four-issue Afterburn was published by Red 5 in 2008, a post-apocalyptic about a treasure hunter (to be played by Butler) who plans an elaborate art heist to steal the Mona Lisa after a solar flare knocks out all technology in Eurtuope. He’s paired with a female weapons expert, and the plan is to create a franchise similar to the one derived from Butler’s Olympus Has Fallen with each movie sending them after a different treasure. Matt Johnson (Into The Blue) wrote the screenplay for the first movie.

Probably one of the more interesting aspects of the project will be which female actor might play the secondary lead to Butler, since many of his action films are very male-dominated — case in point: 300 — and that should give Afterburn a nice switch. It will also be interesting to see how Director Jung makes the transition to English language vs. some of his country mates, who haven’t made the transition to Hollywood quite as smoothly. (Okja and Snowpiercer director Bong Joon-ho has been one of the exceptions.)

Repped by and , Butler continues to line up potential franchises with the announcement earlier this week that he’s signed onto a sequel to the heist flick Den of Thieves (currently in theaters). The actor will also soon begin shooting Angel Has Fallen, the second sequel to his hit Olympus Has Fallen, this one directed by Ric Roman Waugh (Snitch), after finishing Hunter Killer and Keepers, both which are also looking for U.S. distribution.

This was initially reported by Deadline.

  | East Coast Editor

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