‘Minari’ Filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung in Talks to Direct ‘Twister’ Sequel

Lee Isaac Chung, the Oscar-nominated director of “Minari,” is in talks to direct the sequel to the 1996 storm-chasing blockbuster “Twister,” an individual with knowledge of the project told IndieWire.

If his deal closes, Chung would work from a script by “The Revenant” writer Mark L. Smith, and the individual adds that Chung was just one of many top directors attracted to working on the film. What’s more, “Twisters” is looking to start up shooting quickly sometime this spring.

As of right now, there’s no talent in talks to star, and no word on if Helen Hunt, the original film’s star, would be among those returning.

Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment are developing the sequel titled “Twisters,” which Steven Spielberg is executive producing. Warner Bros. Pictures is co-financing.

Frank Marshall (“Jurassic World Dominion”) is attached to produce through his Kennedy/Marshall Company.

While Chung and the lyrical, intimate, family dynamic  heexplored in “Minari” may seem like an unusual fit for a big-budget tentpole movie about tornados, Deadline, which first reported the news of Minari’s involvement, says that Chung has a lot of experience sheltering in place in storm cellars as tornados came through his native Arkansas, so there’s an unexpected personal connection there. And admirers of “Minari” should recall how a storm even plays a part in that film’s plot.

Chung also flirted with the idea of a bigger-budget property in the wake of “Minari,” as he was originally meant to direct a live-action adaptation of the Japanese anime “Your Name” that J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot was developing, though he exited the project.

The original “Twister” was no slouch on pedigree either. Though it made $494 million at the worldwide box office, the film had ground-breaking special effects via director Jan De Bont, a screenplay from Michael Crichton, and starred both the late Bill Paxton and Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his early breakout roles and even “TÁR” director Todd Field.

Executive vice president of production Sara Scott and creative executive Jacqueline Garell will oversee “Twisters” for Universal Pictures, and Ashley Jay Sandberg will oversee for Kennedy/Marshall.

Next up for Chung is an untitled project set at MGM’s United Aritsts that will also reunite him with his “Minari” producers at Brad Pitt’s Plan B. He is represented by CAA and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.

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