Kim Jee-Woon led the vanguard of the South Korean invasion of Hollywood (Park Chan Wook’s Stoker and Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer bringing up the rear) with his English language debut, old school Arnie actioner Last Stand, a film that unfortunately didn’t have that many fans doing the last stand in queues to see it despite being kind of fun.
But Jee-Woon has not been deterred as he’s already set his sights on another American crime thriller, only one that isn’t quite as heroic this time.
The South Korean director, the man behind such cult classics as The Good, The Bad and The Weird and I Saw the Devil, will be teaming up with acclaimed comic book writer Ed Brubaker – who all you Captain America fans should thank for penning the story being adapted in Captain America: The Winter Soldier – to bring to life “Coward”, the first collection in Brubaker’s Eisner Award (that’s like the comic book version of the Oscars) winning series, Criminal.
According to the book’s official blurb, “‘Coward’ is the story of Leo, a professional pickpocket who is also a legendary heist-planner and thief. But there’s a catch with Leo, he won’t work any job that he doesn’t call all the shots on, he won’t allow guns, and the minute things turn south, he’s looking for any exit that won’t land him in prison. But when he’s lured into a risky heist, all his rules go out the window, and he ends up on the run from the cops and the bad men who double-crossed him. Now Leo must come face-to-face with the violence he’s kept bottled up inside for 20 years, and nothing will ever be the same for him again.”
I personally own all the Criminal collections and they’re all superb neo-noir crime fare, but Criminal is, in my opinion, the best of the lot, and with it’s morally grey characters and great action beats, has tremendous potential for a feature film. Brubaker will be making his feature film screenwriting debut, penning the adapted screenplay himself, so at least you know that things won’t be drifting too far from the original creator’s vision.
According to the original report of the story on Variety, producer Jamie Patricof has been putting together an adaptation of the acclaimed graphic since 2011 already when David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) was originally set to direct. Personally, as a fan of Jee Woon’s work (admittedly only from the small handful of titles I have seen), I think he could be a rather superb choice for this.
Last Updated: October 8, 2013