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Bestselling Chinese spy thriller novel ‘The Message’ to be adapted into South Korean film

2021/1/12 8:34:22   source:Global Times

Conceptual poster of the adapted South Korean film Ghost. Photo: Weibo

One of China’s most well-received spy novels, The Message, is being adapted into a South Korean film.

Ghost, which is currently being filmed by South Korean director Lee Hae-young, takes place in the 1930s and tells the story of five men and women suspected of being spies belonging to an anti-Japanese invasion organization who are trapped in a large hotel and must tactfully interact with each other to save themselves and escape.

The film stars popular South Korean actors such as Sol Kyung-gu, who played in award-winning director Lee Chang-dong’s most representative films Oasis (2002) and Peppermint Candy (1999), and young actress Park Su-dam, who appeared in the globally acclaimed 2020 South Korean dark comedy thriller Parasite.

South Korean film organization LAMP bought the overseas film adaption rights of The Message. Ghost’s director Lee has helmed another successful 2018 action crime film Believer, which was also a remake of Hong Kong director Johnnie To’s action thriller Drug War (2012).

The Message (2007) is a bestselling Chinese book by novelist Mai Jia, who has been called the “Dan Brown of China.” Mai spent many years working at a Chinese intelligence agency, which laid the foundation for him to become China’s most well-known spy-themed author. The Message, Mai’s third full-length novel, is set in Japanese-occupied Nanjing during WWII. The story of the novel revolves around Chinese spy “Old Ghost,” who is trying to send secret messages while hiding identity from a Japanese intelligence officer.

In 2009, The Message was adapted into a Chinese film of the same name starring top Chinese actors such as Zhou Xun, Li Bingbing and Zhang Hanyu. The film was highly evaluated by audience, earning an 8.3/10 on China’s popular media review site Douban. The novel has become a popular cultural IP that was also adapted into a TV series of the same name in 2020.

According to Sina Entertainment, the new South Korean adaptation is expected to be released in 2022.

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