Woohoo. Well I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met a fictional grim reaper I didn’t like. Popular fantasy webtoon With the Gods, about life in the afterlife populated with gods and mortals, is being turned into a big-budget blockbuster movie saga by the producers behind Gwanghae, The Man Who Became King, and has been getting lots of attention for fantasy casting lists among fans. First to actually be cast is Gong Yoo, who is currently being courted for a grim reaper prequel to the saga to set up the universe.
The webtoon by the same name by Joo Ho-min is about the 49 days after a person dies, the end of which marks the day of judgment for the soul. The fictional universe draws from Buddhist myths about the ten gods who rule that realm and pass judgment on the dead, and the webtoon is described as a satire that moves freely from the land of the living to the afterlife, and explores both mortals and gods as characters whose fates intertwine. I’m picturing an Arang and the Magistrate setup of gods with personalities and foibles of their own, and small choices that cause massive consequence for the tiny humans below.
The webtoon is both sageuk and modern, and has sections devoted to this life, the afterlife, and the mythology of the gods. It’s an omnibus series which makes it a little harder to adapt for the big screen, which may explain the massive undertaking to do it in parts. Director Kim Tae-yong (of Manchu/Late Autumn and You Are More Than Beautiful) decided to begin the series with a prequel instead, focusing on the grim reaper character who passes between both worlds to deliver souls.
Gong Yoo is favorably considering the role for now (DO IT. Pretty please?) and meanwhile his new action movie Suspect is due out in December. Oh, and here he is in High Cut this month, because why not.
With the Gods (The Prequel) plans to start shooting early next year for a 2014 release.
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