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What Lurks In The 'DMZ'? A New Action-Thriller From 'Transformers' Producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist February 25, 2011 at 2:15AM

While Korea is currently producing some of the most exciting cinema in the world (the imminent "I Saw the Devil" being only the most recent example), the country's been somewhat under-represented in Hollywood cinema. The Korean War never captured the imagination of filmmakers in the way that Vietnam did (outside of "M*A*S*H"), while Seoul has never held the same appeal as a jetsetting location as, say, Tokyo or Hong Kong.
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While Korea is currently producing some of the most exciting cinema in the world (the imminent "I Saw the Devil" being only the most recent example), the country's been somewhat under-represented in Hollywood cinema. The Korean War never captured the imagination of filmmakers in the way that Vietnam did (outside of "M*A*S*H"), while Seoul has never held the same appeal as a jetsetting location as, say, Tokyo or Hong Kong.

But a new film in development looks as though it may change that. Variety reports that Korean company CJ Entertainment are teaming with Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, the producer of "Transformers" and "Salt," for a new action-thriller called "DMZ," set in the titular demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea, and has set rising writers Jeremy Passmore and Andre Fabrizio to pen the script. Passmore is one of the writers on the long-delayed "Red Dawn" remake, and off the back of that, he and his writing partner wrote the actioner "Hellified" for that film's director Dan Bradley, as well as "The World After," which Len Wiseman is attached to, and "The Prince" for John Carpenter.

The plot follows a group of international soldiers sent into the DMZ to retrieve a crashed U.S. satellite before North Korea can retrieve it. However, once they're in there, they discover that something much worse is posing a threat to them. WHAT COULD IT POSSIBLY BE? Definitely not an alien creature, that's massively overplayed at this point, there's no way the producer of "G.I. Joe" would sink to that level. The writers and producers recently visited the DMZ itself for research purposes, so it'll at least be a convincing depiction of a wasteland.

If it wasn't clear already, the film is connected neither to the terrific dystopian comic book of the same name by Brian Wood, or to Park Chan-wook's breakthrough film "JSA: Joint Security Area," which also revolved around the DMZ (and was itself set to be remade, by "Gladiator" screenwriter David Franzoni, although it never came together). No cast or director is yet attached to the project, so it looks like we're a way off seeing this just yet.

This article is related to: Films, Producers, DMZ, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura


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