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Will Sharpe (right) and Japanese Breakfast (left)
Will Sharpe by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Japanese Breakfast by Ebru Yildiz / Press

Will Sharpe to direct Japanese Breakfast’s memoir, Crying In H Mart

The White Lotus star will direct the coming-of-age story, based on Michelle Zauner's best-selling memoir

Will Sharpe, writer, director, and star of The White Lotus, is set to direct an adaptation of Michelle Zauner’s best-selling memoir Crying In H Mart.

The news of a possible adaptation first broke in 2021, and has been hotly anticipated ever since. Of the decision to give Sharpe the role, Zauner told People that his “sensitivity as a director and an actor, his ability to find humour and grace within the tragedy of the everyday, and his own personal experience, having grown up between two cultures, make him the perfect director for this film.”

Hauner, the front person, guitarist and singer-songwriter of indie-pop band Japanese Breakfast, wrote the memoir after her mother Chong-Mi passed away following a battle with pancreatic cancer, and explores Zauner’s relationship with her Korean heritage. The artist will be adapting the memoir into a screenplay, as well as assisting in creating music for the film, which is set to be distributed by MGM’s Orion Pictures – though there is no official release date at the time of writing.

For those who haven’t read it, MGM’s synopsis describes Crying In H Mart as a “coming-of-age story about a half-Korean daughter who returns to small-town Oregon to care for her Korean mother. Critical and smothering Chong-mi and creative and independent Michelle struggle to understand each other across a cultural fault line, only learning to see and accept one another through the formative power of music and the vibrant flavours of Korean cooking.”

Sharpe added that, from the book, “there were lots of things that resonated... as somebody who is half-Japanese, half-British, [and] spent [a] childhood in Tokyo”. Throughout the book are vivid descriptions of food and the love that comes from eating communally, something that Sharpe says “felt universal in its specificity”, adding: “It‘s so lovingly detailed about the experience of growing up around Korean food and the cooking of Korean food.”

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