Gore Verbinski has been directing blockbuster films for almost a decade, but he may be returning to smaller material. According to Deadline, Verbinski has teamed with New Regency to direct an adaptation of the graphic novel Pyongyang by Guy Deslisle. The memoir follows the French-Canadian cartoonist’s travels through North Korea after obtaining a work visa (a rarity for a Westerner) for his job on a children’s cartoon show (I don’t know the name of the show but I assume it was Kim Jong-Il’s Super Fun Time Worship Your Beloved Supreme Leader Happy Hour; that’s a rough translation since my Korean is a little rusty). Deslisle’s trip becomes more complicated when he’s accused of espionage because of course he is.
This sounds like a fun project for Verbinski, and also a return to his smaller-scale films like The Weather Man and Mouse Hunt. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the graphic novel. Verbinski’s next film, The Lone Ranger, opens July 3rd.
Here’s the synopsis of Guy Deslisle’s Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea:
Famously referred to as one of the “Axis of Evil” countries, North Korea remains one of the most secretive and mysterious nations in the world today. In early 2001 cartoonist Guy Delisle became one of the few Westerners to be allowed access to the fortresslike country. While living in the nation’s capital for two months on a work visa for a French film animation company, Delisle observed what he was allowed to see of the culture and lives of the few North Koreans he encountered; his findings form the basis of this remarkable graphic novel. Pyongyang is an informative, personal, and accessible look at a dangerous and enigmatic country. [Amazon]