EXCLUSIVE: Award-winning House of Sand & Fog filmmaker Vadim Perelman has been attached to direct the movie Marinus, we hear, about the heroic rescue of 14K Korean evacuees by sea toward the end of the Korean War.
Adapted by J. Craig Stiles (Miranda’s Victim) off the book Ship of Miracles, Marinus follows a merchant marine captain, who along with a Korean doctor, commanded a ship that was rated to carry 65 passengers and ended up saving thousands – all while being pursued by enemy subs, fighter planes and contending with a Communist spy on board.
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Despite the odds, not one soul perished. In fact, five babies were born during the journey, and they arrived safely at a South Korean harbor on Christmas Day. The captain was so touched by the experience that he later became a Benedictine monk. He has passed on, but is currently up for sainthood with the Catholic Church. The five babies that were born are referred to as the “Kimchi Babies” in South Korea where their lives have been followed like rock stars, and one of the couples saved on the ship were the parents of Moon Jae-In, the former President of South Korea. Religious leader, Reverend Sun Myung Moon was also on the ship. The project is described in the vein of Schindler’s List, Dunkirk and Titanic.
Marinus is being produced by Steve Lee Jones and his Bee Holder Productions banner.
Jones tells Deadline, “This has been a long journey and truly a passion project of mine. It’s a tale that is so extraordinary that it’s mind-blowing, and it is all real! It’s also our biggest film project to date and I am just so thrilled that this story will finally be told in all of its intended glory. It shines a bright spotlight on how seemingly ordinary men can rise to an occasion and deliver in spades, when the stakes are so high that there is no other option. Vadim has been on my best of the best list since his film House of Sand & Fog first premiered, and then when I saw, Persian Lessons, I knew he had to be our guy! He is the master of the hero’s journey and that is exactly what Marinus is.”
Perelman added, “I was so inspired by this story and the screenplay, and my goal is to give it all the special care it needs to not only make Marinus a thrilling, epic sea spectacle, but also a dramatic character study of redemption, humanity and faith in one very special man, Captain LaRue.”
Casting will commence as soon as the SAG-AFTRA strike has ended for a Q4 2024 start date, or an interim agreement will be applied for.
Marinus is receiving tailored banking services from Banc of California. Julien P. Bourgon, SVP Media & Entertainment at the bank, will serve as an EP.
Bee Holder’s executive team; Kevin Human & Jeremy Christensen will serve as co-producers, as well as Tyler Condon and Lee Shipman.
Perelman’s House of Sand & Fog received three Oscar nominations in 2004 including Ben Kingsley for Best Actor and Shohreh Aghdashloo for Best Supporting Actress. James Horner’s original score was also nominated. Perelman is repped by Artist International Group. Michael J. Weiss of Concentric Law reps Bee Holder Productions.
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