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Joko Anwar’s next project will land him in Hollywood as the Indonesian writer-director is set to direct an adaptation of author Charles Beaumont’s classic short story, Fritzchen, as reported by entertainment industry outlet Deadline.

Joko himself posted a screenshot of the Deadline article in an Instagram post, which was met with fanfare from supporters, fellow filmmakers, and industry professionals.

The project will be produced by Village Roadshow Pictures. 

“The producers at Village Roadshow have long been following my films, and they said they have wanted to work with me for a long time,” Joko shared.

“Last year, they had a sci-fi horror project that they thought would be suitable for me to make. Then they contacted my agent in the US, the Creative Artist Agency (CAA), we met, and [we] turned out to be suited to one another.”

The story will be adapted into a script by Michael Voyer (The Broodmare) and produced by David Kopple for Entertainment 360. Published in 1953, Fritzchen tells the story of a young boy’s encounter with a strange creature on a beach. While little else is known about the plot, the film adaptation will reportedly blend elements of sci-fi and horror.

Beaumont was a speculative fiction author who wrote numerous sci-fi/horror pieces, including episodes of Twilight Zone such as The Howling Man, Miniature, and Number Twelve Looks Just Like You, to name a few. He also wrote film screenplays such as The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm and 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, as well as novels and short stories.

Joko is one of Indonesia’s most successful filmmakers who made waves as a screenwriter in Nia Dinata’s Arisan! (2003). He wrote and directed his first feature film, the romantic comedy Janji Joni (Joni’s Promise) in 2005. In 2007, he wrote and directed Indonesia’s first film noir film, Kala (Dead Time), which was screened at several film festivals and was critically acclaimed.

Joko established himself as a prominent cross-genre filmmaker with thrillers, political drama, superhero films, and horror. Some of his acclaimed films include the 2017 film Pengabdi Setan (Satan’s Slaves), a successful remake of a cult horror classic, and Perempuan Tanah Jahanam (Impetigore) in 2019, which was selected as Indonesia’s entry for the Best International Feature Film category in the 2021 Academy Awards.

The sequel for Pengabdi Setan, Pengabdi Setan 2: Communion, is slated for release this year.

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