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Ko - production in Busan
  • CJ Entertainment to Adapt French Novel THE VANISHED
  • by Pierce Conran /  Nov 21, 2017
  • Japanese-Language Production to Examine ‘Johatsu’ Phenomenon



    Korean studio CJ Entertainment has optioned the film rights for the French non-fiction novel ‘The Vanished: The "Evaporated People" of Japan in Stories and Photographs’, written by Léna Mauger. CJ will provide financing for the Japanese-language project, which they intend to develop and produce in house.

    Published in 2014, ‘The Vanished’ explores the Japanese phenomenon of ‘Johatsu’ (meaning ‘evaporate’ in Japanese) which concerns the disappearance of 100,000 Japanese people each year and it is driven by personal stories of shame, concerning family pressures or mounting financial debt, and many people opt to remove themselves from society in Japan. 

    Mauger’s book, which features photography by Stéphane Remael, explores several areas affected by ‘Johatsu’, including a Tokyo neighborhood plagued by crime, a camp for struggling businessmen, and a cliff favored by people wishing to commit suicide.

    CJ Entertainment has mined several intellectual properties from France to great success in the past, including BONG Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer (2013), based on the graphic novel ‘Le Transperceneige’, and the Cannes-invited thriller The Target (2014), a remake of the 2010 French thriller Point Blank.

    The moves come a few months after CJ Entertainment announced their intentions to produce 20 films in 10 languages beyond Korean borders annually by 2020.

    The Vanished will be produced by CJ CEO JEONG Tae-sung and Head of International Film Production Francis CHUNG. Mike IM, Head of International Production, is on board as an executive producer. CHUNG explained that “We were immediately drawn in by the universality of the themes and believe wholeheartedly that a feature film can translate these in a powerful new experience for audiences.”
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