Gore Verbinski to Adapt Pyongyang

Pirates of the Caribbean‘s Gore Verbinksi will direct and produce an adaptation of Pyongyang, the acclaimed 2004 graphic memoir by Guy Delisle, Deadline reports. Steve Conrad, who wrote The Pursuit of Happiness, will pen the screenplay for New Regency Pictures.

Published in English by Drawn and Quarterly, the graphic novel chronicles Delisle’s experiences in the North Korean capital, where he stayed for two months while working for a film French animation company. Here’s the official description:

Famously referred to as an “Axis-of-Evil” country, North Korea remains one of the most secretive and mysterious nations in the world today. A series of manmade and natural catastrophes have also left it one of the poorest. When the fortress-like country recently opened the door a crack to foreign investment, cartoonist Guy Delisle found himself in its capital of Pyongyang on a work visa for a French film animation company, becoming one of the few Westerners to witness current conditions in the surreal showcase city.

Armed with a smuggled radio and a copy of 1984, Delisle could only explore Pyongyang and its countryside while chaperoned by his translator and a guide. But among the statues, portraits and propaganda of leaders Kim Il-Sung and his son Kim Jong-Il–the world’s only Communist dynasty–Delisle was able to observe more than was intended of the culture and lives of the few North Koreans he encountered. His astute and wry musings on life in the austere and grim regime form the basis of this remarkable graphic novel. Pyongyang is an informative, personal, and accessible look at an enigmatic country.

Verbinkski’s next film, Disney’s The Lone Ranger, which opens July 3.

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