Gore Verbinski to Direct Dark Comedy 'Pyongyang' for New Regency
by Ben Pearson
January 29, 2013
Team America: World Police is the most recent comedy I can think of that took a shot at the absurdities of the totalitarian country of North Korea, but it looks like another movie will get a chance. Deadline reports that Pirates of the Caribbean helmer Gore Verbinski is lined up to direct Pyongyang, a film based on Guy Delisle's 2004 comic memoir that followed Delisle's two month stay in the North Korean capitol city working as an animator for a French film company. Verbinski will produce through his Blind Wink Productions banner, while Steve Conrad (The Pursuit of Happyness) is set to adapt the book to screen.
Here's the official synopsis of the Pyongyang graphic novel from Amazon:
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.
Deadline's report also mentions that the plot revolves around an animator who is "accused of espionage," so it's unclear how many liberties are being taken with the story at this point. Either way, it sounds like a much more low key picture than anything Verbinski has been associated with in the past few years, so it should be a nice change of pace from the overblown western The Lone Ranger when he gets rolling on this one. No date is given for the start of production, and no release date is slated yet, but we'll keep you posted.