Burning star Jeon Jong-seo is in discussions to join Kate Hudson in Blood Moon, the third feature from writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour, multiple sources have told Collider.
Last October, Deadline reported that Craig Robinson and Zac Efron would co-star in the fantasy feature, thought it’s unclear if Efron is still involved anymore. Blood Moon follows a girl with strange and dangerous abilities who escapes from a mental asylum and rejoins the chaos of modern civilization on the hedonistic streets of New Orleans. The film is said to be inspired by fantasy-adventure movies of the ’80s and ’90s, and it’s understood to pair strange, violent, and humorous sequences with a range of music, from heavy metal to Italian techno.
Jeon will play the lead character, who’s known as the Lunatic, and I won’t spoil her abilities here, though suffice to say, they’re pretty cool. Hudson will play a stripper who, along with her young son, links up with the Lunatic. It kind of sounds like a unique coming-of-age story to me, one that may be more commercial than Amirpour’s past films, the acclaimed black-and-white vampire tale A Girl Who Walks Home Alone at Night and the visually stunning but ultimately impenetrable Jason Momoa movie The Bad Batch, which scored 96% fresh and 45% rotten, respectively, on Rotten Tomatoes. Neither film managed to gross $500,000 at the domestic box office, which is why I think Blood Moon could be her biggest hit yet. If it makes even $1 million it will have outgrossed Amirpour’s first two films combined, and I think the ‘strange and dangerous abilities’ angle will be more than enough to drive that kind of interest.
Oscar winner John Lesher (Birdman) is producing Blood Moon via his Le Grisbi banner, and production is slated to start in the coming weeks. We’ve heard an official announcement regarding Jeon’s casting may be coming closer to the Cannes Film Market next month.
Jeon was born in Seoul and attended a middle school in Canada before graduating from Seoul Arts High School. After high school, she attended Sejong University, where she studied film. I may not have liked Burning as much as other other critics did, but I agree with Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times, who called it “a remarkable screen debut” for Jeon. Indeed, she delivered a hypnotic performance as Shin Hae-mi, the mysterious woman caught in a love triangle between two very different men. It was her first time acting and she was quite impressive, so I hope this deal works out, as she strikes me as a good match for Amirpour and her dazzling eye.
Speaking of which, Amirpour recently directed the episodes of FX’s Legion and Hulu’s Castle Rock, as well as the Briarpatch pilot for executive producer Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot). I expect we’ll hear more about Blood Moon soon, so stay tuned.