Singapore. After the success of his horror movie "Pengabdi Setan," or "Satan's Slaves," acclaimed Indonesian director Joko Anwar is set to make another work of the genre, which will be part of HBO Asia's latest anthology called "Folklore."
"Folklore" consists of six television movies, each of them by a director representing Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand. Each movie will be based on local myths and superstitions, and shot in local languages.
Joko was tapped by Singaporean director Eric Khoo who will be the showrunner of "Folklore."
"I have written many scripts in the past 20 years. I just keep on writing, even if they don't always end up getting filmed. When they [Khoo and HBO Asia] asked me to make a horror movie based on Indonesian folklore, I pitched one of my ideas, and they loved it," Joko told the Jakarta Globe on Thursday (30/11) on the sidelines of the Asian TV Forum and Market at Marina Bay Sands Expo in Singapore.
His spooky tale will be set in the present day and will follow a group of children who go missing. The director said it is too early to reveal more details.
"It will be an atmospheric horror movie, like 'Pengabdi Setan.' Though it's based on folklore, it's actually a family story about the role of children in a household, so people can very much relate to it," he said.
The project marks the second time Joko collaborates with HBO Asia. In 2015, he directed "Halfworlds," a television series featuring evil urban spirits such as kuntilanak and genderuwo.
Joko said the new film will be more realistic.
"'Halfworlds' is more action-packed and stylish, and the figures weren't realistic. This one feels more real, also more related to everyday life, though it's not based on a true story," he said.
While most of the films in the anthology are already in the pre-production stage, Joko's script gained HBO Asia's final approval just last month. He is going to hold a casting soon, and shooting will start in February.
"It is slated to be released sometime in the fourth quarter next year," Joko said.
"Folklore" is among the six HBO Asian Original projects announced at the regional channel's 25th birthday on Thursday.
"Pengabdi Setan" is Indonesia's best selling movie of 2017, which drew more than 4,2 million viewers.