March 22, 2018 – Seoul, South Korea / Los Angeles, CA – It was revealed today that Academy Award® nominee Phyllis Nagy will write and direct a film based on the haunting, non-fiction best-selling book, “The Vanished” for CJ Entertainment.
Nagy was nominated for an Academy Award® in 2016 for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Carol,” the highly acclaimed drama starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. In 2006, Nagy was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards for writing and directing “Mrs. Harris” (HBO) starring Annette Bening, Ben Kingsley and Cloris Leachman.
Written by journalist Léna Mauger and photographer Stéphane Remael, “The Vanished” tells the powerful true story of the disappearance of people in Japan. Every year, nearly one hundred thousand Japanese vanish without a trace. Known as the johatsu, or the “evaporated,” they are often driven by shame and hopelessness, leaving behind lost jobs, disappointed families and mounting debts.
Mauger and Remael’s quest to explore the stories of the johatsu weaves its way through a Tokyo neighborhood so notorious for its petty criminal activities that it was literally erased from the maps, reprogramming camps for subpar bureaucrats and businessmen to become “better” employees, and the “suicide” cliffs of Tojinbo, patrolled by a man fighting to save Fukushima in the aftermath of the tsunami.
The film will remain true to its source material in that it will be set in Japan.
CJ Entertainment, Korea’s leading entertainment conglomerate, is developing, financing and producing the feature film. Producing for CJ Entertainment are Tae-sung Jeong, CEO of CJ Entertainment, and Francis Chung, VP of Global Co-Productions and Head of U.S. Production. Mike Im, the company’s Head of International is executive producing.
Fred Lee, CJ Entertainment’s Los Angeles-based Director of Development, and Khan Kwon, CJ’s Seoul-based Development & Production Executive, are overseeing development of the project.
As exotic and distant as their stories might appear to an outsider’s eyes, the human experience shared by the interviewees remains powerfully universal, which is why CJ Entertainment sees such potential in making and positioning the film for a wide global audience.
The project marks the second French novel adaptation for CJ Entertainment, following the 2013 hit film “Snowpiercer” directed by Bong Joon Ho and starring Chris Evans, Song Kang Ho, Octavia Spencer, Ed Harris, and Tilda Swinton, which CJ adapted from the French graphic novel titled “Le Transperceneige.”
“The stories and images of the johatsu that are woven through Lena Mauger and Stephane Remael’s remarkable book moved me profoundly. Those who are disenfranchised, who have no voice, who are, in fact, wiped clean from the rolls of our collective society—these narratives, though specific to Japan, increasingly find their terrible parallels in all corners of the world. And these global connections and resonances draw me powerfully to this tale. I can’t wait to begin to dive in with this material with CJ,” said Nagy.
CJ Entertainment’s Francis Chung said, “With “The Vanished” we had always wanted to tell the story in an intricate yet delicate fashion. Everything about Phyllis, from her storytelling approach and style, to her research and investment into the material, makes her the perfect writer and director for this project. We’re thrilled to be working with her and know audiences will ultimately be treated to a masterfully crafted story for the big screen.”
In addition to “The Vanished,” Nagy is currently adapting best-selling novelist Patricia Cornwell’s first Scarpetta novel, POSTMORTEM, which she will also direct.
The deal for Nagy to pen “The Vanished” screenplay is the second major writer attachment for CJ already this year. Last month, CJ closed a deal with Academy Award® winner Geoffrey Fletcher to write the adapted screenplay for an English language remake of the popular horror film “The Housemaid” – a project CJ is also developing, financing and producing.
The deal was negotiated by Adam Mehr at Pryor Cashman on behalf of CJ Entertainment. Phyllis is represented by UTA and Casarotto Ramsay.
About Phyllis Nagy
Phyllis won the New York and Seattle Film Critics Circle awards and received Academy Award, BAFTA, and WGA nominations for her screenplay of Todd Haynes’ celebrated film, CAROL, which Nagy adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s “The Price of Salt.”
Nagy wrote and directed MRS HARRIS for HBO Films, which starred Annette Bening and Ben Kingsley. It was a Gala Presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival and received 12 Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Film Made for Television, as well as writing and directing nominations for Nagy herself. She won a PEN Literary Award for its script, A Gracie Allen Award for its direction, and the film garnered multiple Golden Globe, SAG, Satellite and guild nominations.
About CJ Entertainment
Since 1995, Korea’s leading filmmaker and distributor CJ Entertainment has provided original, award-winning content – across an array of genres, including drama, comedy, action, sci-fi/horror and special interest. CJ Entertainment is the film studio of CJ E&M corporation, consisting of film, broadcasting, music, performance and animation divisions. The cornerstone of the Korean entertainment industry – boasting the country’s largest and most significant library, with nearly 400 films – CJ Entertainment is also a singular presence throughout Asia, Europe and in the United States producing, financing and distributing local content in those respective territories. Top films include Mother; The Good, the Bad, the Weird; The Handmaiden; Sweet 20; Satan’s Slaves; and Snowpiercer to name a few.