The Korea Herald


Park Chan-wook to helm BBC spy drama

By Rumy Doo

Published : Nov. 5, 2017 - 14:25

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Korean director Park Chan-wook will direct BBC’s TV adaptation of British author John le Carre’s spy novel “The Little Drummer Girl,” Daily Mail reported Friday.

Up-and-coming British actress Florence Pugh, 21, stars as the show’s heroine on a mission to track down a Palestinian terrorist mastermind, according to the British media outlet.

Filming on the six-part drama series will begin early 2018, with the release date yet to be announced.

The 1983 novel by author le Carre, whose real name is David John More Cornwell, follows two Israeli spy characters -- Martin Kurtz, who aims to kill a Palestinian terrorist bombing Jewish targets in Europe, and Charlie, an English actress and double agent working for the Israelis -- through London, Mykonos, Munich, Vienna, Bonn and Tel Aviv.

The series will be produced by London-based TV and film production company The Ink Factory, British broadcasting network BBC and its US partner AMC Networks, report said. Shooting locations have yet to be decided.

Pugh debuted in the British mystery drama film “The Falling” in 2014 in the role of a precocious teenager.

Florence Pugh stars in “Lady Macbeth” (Altitude Film Distribution) Florence Pugh stars in “Lady Macbeth” (Altitude Film Distribution)

The actress subsequently starred in last year’s feature film “Lady Macbeth” by William Oldroyd, and British crime noir TV drama “Marcella.” She will also appear in upcoming mystery thriller “The Commuter” alongside Liam Neeson, set for release in January 2018.

Pugh won the BAFTA Breakthrough Brit Award in 2016 and Dublin Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress at the Dublin International Film Festival this year.

This is not the first time Park has taken to adapting British fiction for the screen. Park’s most recent film, “The Handmaiden,” was inspired by Welsh writer Sarah Waters’ 2002 novel “Fingersmith.”

In his adaptation, starring Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo and Cho Jin-woong, Park shifted the setting from Victorian Britain to Korea during the Japanese occupation.

Park Chan-wook (Yonhap) Park Chan-wook (Yonhap)

Park gained prominence in international cinema with his 2003 neo-noir mystery thriller “Oldboy,” which won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

Known for his explorations of visceral extremes and violence, black humor and precise framing, Park’s “Lady Vengeance” (2005), “Thirst” (2009) and “Oldboy” make up the revenge trilogy. He also directed Hollywood psychological thriller-drama “Stoker” (2013), starring Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode.

With “The Little Drummer Girl,” Park has become the latest among a string of film directors directing “prestige TV,” or small-screen dramas with high-quality production and often serious themes.

By Rumy Doo (