Universal Studios has signed a director to remake Bong Joon-ho‘s 2006 Korean monster film The Host. Commercial film director Fredrik Bond will helm the project, based on a script by Smart People scribe Mark Poirier, and Gore Verbinski will produce. Bond has directed a variety of commercials over the last few years (check them out right now here). Haven’t seen The Host? Check out the trailer below!
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The Host follows a dysfunctional family who sets out to bring their little girl back home after a horrifying giant monster that emerges from the Han River to wreak havoc on Seoul. The Host was released on a record number of screens in South Korea and broke box-office records throughout its domestic run. By the end of its run, over 13 million people had bought tickets, making it the highest grossing South Korean film of all time. Joon-Jo talked to Sci-Fi about the idea of an American remake during the film’s original theatrical run. Here is what he said:
“Maybe three or four years down the line, if The Host [remake] comes out, and there’s a cool director who takes it on and makes it a real great film, then I’d be very happy,” Bong told SciFiWire in an interview, through a translator. “On the other hand, if it’s just crap, I think I’d be happy, too, because then people would be like, ‘Oh, yeah, Bong’s original was really good.’ So, for me, it’s a win-win situation. But Universal has a tradition of doing horror and creature films, so I anticipate that they will do a great film.”
If you haven’t yet, check out Fredrik’s commercial work in our Commercial Directors Spotlight.
Dennis Quaid plays Lawrence Wetherhold, a miserable and pompous college professor who suffers a head trauma while trying to jump the fence at a car impound lot. Unable to drive himself around, his screw-up adopted-brother Chuck (played by the incomparable Thomas Haden Church) moves in and becomes his personal chauffeur (if he can ever remember to pick his brother up). Chuck tries to expose Lawrence’s conservative daughter Vanessa (Ellen Page) to beer and drugs, and in the process, a complicated relationship develops. Meanwhile Lawrence falls for his Doctor Janet, played by the ever-so annoying Sarah Jessica Parker, and in the process, must find a way to cure himself of his unhealthy obsession with his deceased wife.
Page’s Vanessa is a snappy sarcastic smart aleck 17-year-old. Imagine if Juno were less indie/punk and more conservative / school smart. Page steals every scene she shares on screen. Church, also an attention hog (in a good way) is ever so charming as the lovable loser. Screenwriter Mark Poirier is all over Hollywood in a non-Diablo Cody way. Poirier is set to make his feature directing debut for Paramount with his script, Bong Hits 4 Jesus. Commercial turned Feature director Noam Murro makes a fantastic debut.
If there were one complaint about this film, it would be that the supporting storyline featuring the complicated relationship between Page and Church was far more interesting than the main romantic storyline. In fact, I would love to see a movie about those characters in that kind of situation, where more time could be devoted.
I must admit, I wasn’t expecting much from Smart People, but left the theater with a large grin in hand. This is a wonderful movie, not on the level of Juno, but up there next to Little Miss Sunshine.
/Film Rating: 8 out of 10