As far as the international film scene goes, the Aughts will likely be come to be known as the decade that we discovered the excess of talent fueling South Korea’s film business. Park Chan-wook, Bong Joon-ho, and Hong Sang-soo, three of the best filmmakers currently working today, all came out of that decade with respectable, cult-sustained filmographies, strewn with modern-day classics ranging from The Host and Oldboy to Woman on the Beach and Woman is the Future of Man.
The 2010s have been very rewarding to these directors, as well as undervalued South Korean talents like Na Hong-jin of The Chaser, The Yellow Sea, and last year’s mesmerizing The Wailing. Joon-ho just released his most ambitious (and least satisfying) picture to date, Okja, while Sang-soo has three films premiering internationally this year to enormous acclaim, including On the Beach at Night Alone, one of the best films of this year. Meanwhile, Chan-wook directed The Handmaiden, a wild-eyed and majestic erotic thriller, and is currently prepping to enter the TV fray with an adaptation of John le Carre‘s The Little Drummer Girl.
According to the Daily Mail, Chan-wook has signed on to direct all six episodes of the AMC miniseries based on le Carre’s lesser-known tome. George Roy Hill adapted the same novel decades ago with Diane Keaton in the lead role, but that is not remembered as one of the better le Carre’s movies or series. For Chan-wook’s version, Florence Pugh, the breakout star of Lady Macbeth, will be leading the cast, though not much else is known about the cast or the direction that the director is taking the material. There isn’t even a release date for this thing, though one would assume that AMC is aiming for a late 2018/early 2019 bow. In either case, this is easily one of the most promising TV events to be announced in recent months.
Here’s the book synopsis for “The Little Drummer Girl” via Amazon:
On holiday in Mykonos, Charlie wants only sunny days and a brief escape from England’s bourgeois dreariness. Then a handsome stranger lures the aspiring actress away from her pals—but his intentions are far from romantic. Joseph is an Israeli intelligence officer, and Charlie has been wooed to flush out the leader of a Palestinian terrorist group responsible for a string of deadly bombings. Still uncertain of her own allegiances, she debuts in the role of a lifetime as a double agent in the “theatre of the real.”