Indonesian remake of South Korean hit ‘Sunny’ set for 2019 release under the title ‘Bebas’ (‘Free’)

Cast of ‘Bebas’ (‘Free’), the Indonesian remake of South Korean hit ‘Sunny’. Photo: Youtube/Miles Films
Cast of ‘Bebas’ (‘Free’), the Indonesian remake of South Korean hit ‘Sunny’. Photo: Youtube/Miles Films

If you’re a fan of the South Korean comedy-drama film Sunny (2011), you might be excited to hear about the Indonesian adaptation of the hit film, which is slated for release this year.

Film producer Mira Lesmana and director Riri Riza announced at a press conference on Tuesday that the Indonesian remake of Sunny will be titled Bebas (Free). Miles Films, the studio behind local mega hits Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? and Laskar Pelangi, will co-produce the remake with the South Korean film powerhouse CJ Entertainment, the studio behind the original.

“I watched this film at the office with Riri Riza. After watching it, we realised that Sunny has the same spirit as some of the films we’ve produced before including Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?. It carries the themes of womanhood, friendship, love, and socio-political conditions surrounding teenagers. Sunny is worthy of an Indonesian remake,” Mira Lesmana said Tuesday, as quoted by Tabloid Bintang.

Bebas will be set in the ‘90s, a decade that holds nostalgic value to many of Indonesia’s pop culture consumers (which might explain all the ‘90s revivals lately). A teaser trailer released earlier this month even features cast members lip syncing to rapper Iwa K’s 1994 hit Bebas, from which the film got its title. The film’s soundtrack will reportedly also feature nine other Indonesian hits from the ‘90s, just like Sunny with its ‘80s-influenced soundtrack.

Sunny itself got its title from a song, and we applied the same thing [for our remake]. The song Bebas invokes memories of the past, and the song became synonymous with the 90s. It’s also an important spirit we have to celebrate in the film, that we are free to create things,” Riri Riza said, as quoted by Kompas.

Bebas will be the fourth international remake of Sunny after Vietnam and Japan released one each last year. Hollywood is also planning an adaptation, which has been in production since 2016.

Bebas will feature ensemble cast of the country’s top and upcoming actors, namely Lutesha, Syifa Hadju, Sheryl Sheinafia, Baskara Mahendra, Marsha Timothy, Baim Wong, and more. Miles Films has also released a video introducing the cast members, who really looked the part in ‘90s fashion and hairstyles.

The original Sunny tells a story about a middle-aged woman who tries to fulfill her friend’s dying wish of reuniting their group of high school friends, set between two timelines of present day and the 1980s.

Since 2015, CJ Entertainment has co-produced some Indonesian films, such as the remake of Korean film Miss Granny, titled Sweet 20 (2017), director/writer Joko Anwar’s hit Pengabdi Setan (2017) and the upcoming Perempuan Tanah Jahanam (Impetigore), scheduled for release this year.

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