Deadline has learned that Jung Byung-gil (The Villainess) will direct Gerard Butler (Den of Thieves) in the upcoming futuristic adventure, Afterburn. The film has long been a passion for Butler and the hope is to turn the project into a new franchise. The movie is based on the Red 5 Comics mini-series of the same name.
Afterburn tells the story of a massive solar flare hitting the Earth and wiping out Europe, Africa, and Asia. But amid the chaos, there’s profit to be made as former oil roughneck Jake (Butler) turns treasure hunter and retrieves valuable items from the burn zone. But along the way, he must face rogue armies, rival treasure hunters, and mutated survivors. The film is described as a futuristic action adventure where all of the technology in Europe has been disrupted by a solar flare. Five years later, Butler’s character goes to France to retrieve the Mona Lisa. Paired with a strong-willed female weapons expert with her own agenda, the two search for the famed painting and encounter unexpected enemies along the way.
Should Afterburn launch a new franchise like the creators hope, future storylines would include Butler’s character searching for treasures such as England’s Crown Jewels, the Star of India, or China’s Imperial Treasures.
Neal Moritz and Toby Jaffe are producing through Original Film alongside Alan Siegel and Butler through G-BASE and Steve Richards through Endurance Media. Steve Barnett and James Tomlinson are executive producers. Jung’s partner, Lewis Taewan Kim (Okja), is also producing, with Christian Mercuri at Capstone Group executive producing.
Afterburn is written by Matt Johnson (Into the Blue) and they are eyeing a late summer production start for the film.