EXCLUSIVE: Mammoth Pictures has acquired film and TV rights to the bestselling novella Diary of a Murderer from award-winning Korean author Young-ha Kim. The company’s Creative Director Kourosh Ahari (The Night, Parallel) is set to direct an English-language feature adaptation, marking the first production under the deal, from a script by Henry Chaisson (Searchlight’s Antlers, Apple TV+’s Servant).
Diary of a Murderer tells the story of a former serial killer stricken with Alzheimer’s disease and suffering from escalating memory loss. When his now peaceful life with his daughter is threatened by new killings mimicking his murders of decades past, he sets his sights on one final kill before he loses his memory completely: the new serial killer he suspects is stalking his daughter – all told in a series of notes the narrator writes to himself throughout his psychological descent into dementia.
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Kim’s novella was previously adapted by Korean director Shin-yeon Won as Memoir of a Murder—not to be confused with Bong Joon Ho’s 2003 feature Memories of Murder—a film distributed by Well Go USA Entertainment, which grossed over $19M worldwide upon its September 2017 release. Alex Bretow and Alexis Brontë will produce the new feature adaptation for Mammoth Pictures.
Kim has also penned such novels as I Have the Right to Destroy Myself, Why, Arang, Black Flower, Your Republic Is Calling You, Quiz Show and I Hear Your Voice, along with assorted essays and short stories. The author has won every major award for Korean literature, seeing his works be translated into more than a dozen languages.
Ahari is currently in production as the director of Parallel, a psychological sci-fi thriller based on the hit Chinese film Parallel Forest, which will star Aldis Hodge (Black Adam), Danielle Deadwyler (Till) and Edwin Hodge (The Tomorrow War). Bretow is serving as exec producer on behalf of Mammoth.
Established in 2015, Mammoth Pictures is a production company led by filmmakers Ahari, Bretow and Brontë which previously produced the horror-thriller The Night, with Ahari directing from a script by Iranian screenwriter Milad Jarmooz. The film was released domestically by IFC Midnight in theaters and on demand before heading to Hulu in the U.S., as well as HBO Max in Latin America and Shudder in the UK, while being released theatrically or on demand in more than 50 additional countries. Starring Cannes Best Actor Winner Shahab Hosseini (The Salesman), The Night made history as the first American-produced film to receive a formal wide theatrical release in Iran since the Iranian revolution more than 40 years ago, as we told you first.
Ahari is repped by Paradigm, Rain Management and McKuin Frankel Whitehead; Kim by Echo Lake and Neon Literary; and Chaisson by Paradigm, Curate and Ginsburg Daniels Kallis.
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