While it's never been a better time for the crossover of Asian cinema to audiences on this side of the ocean, none have been quite as big as Bong Joon-ho's "The Host." The 2006 film became a sensation, not only smashing box office records at home in South Korea, but becoming a must see film stateside, breaking out of its genre niche and finding a larger audience than this kind of flick normally would. It seems that producers around the world all share the common trait of milking a hit movie for all it's worth, as not only is there a long gestating sequel to the movie still on the table, until that arrives, "The Host" has gotten a brand new 3D makeover.
In a move said to "spearhead" the conversion market in South Korean (look out folks, if you buy tickets for this you're basically guaranteeing that people are going to keep doing this) Choi Yong-bae, CEO of Chungeorahm Film reassures that, “The 3D conversion doesn’t alter scenes or the storyline in any way." With a reported cost of only $129,000 U.S. dollars to give three dimensions to the movie (which seems absurdly cheap, though it would explain why everyone is eager on doing it), the movie has the support of Bong Joon-ho himself, even tough it seems he's not directly involved in any major way.
“It was interesting to watch something that I directed in a different format. I had wanted to reinterpret the Han River, a familiar space for Koreans, in an exotic way, and the 3D effects do highlight the sense of space that I had wanted
to capture," he explained at the Busan International Film Festival. "The visuals also brought back memories of what I felt myself while shooting by the river.”
While there's no word yet if this 3D version will land in U.S. theaters -- though, we doubt it -- don't fear, if you need more "The Host" that sequel is still on the way. While Joon-ho won't be directing -- he told us last year, "I like films that are new stories [so] I don't think I'm interested in making remakes or sequels..." -- is still in in development with Choi saying a 2013 release in the cards. So what's next for Joon-ho? He's still working on "Snow Piercer."
First announced in early 2010, and set to be his English language debut, with Park Chan-Wook producing, the story is based on a post-apocalyptic graphic novel from France called “Le Transperceneige” about a group of people on a train without a final destination, struggling to survive after the end of the world brings on a cataclysmic ice age. While the initial plan was to shoot it and possibly release it in 2011, that's clearly not going to/didn't happen. No word on when it might roll, but let's hope it's soon. The director's last effort "Mother" was solid, and clearly he knows his way around genre material and we'd be eager to see what his approach to a post-apocalyptic world would be like. [THR]