Historic fave ‘Empress’ is co-prod’n landmark

Korea's popular tale to hit big screen

SEOUL — One of Korea’s favorite historical tales will provide the grist for an upcoming U.S.-Korea film co-production.

“Last Empress” is based on the life of Korea’s last queen, Ja-young Min, who led a fight against the Japanese during the late Choson dynasty.

Pic is being put together by South Korea’s Samhwa production company and Landmark Asia, a joint investment firm run by U.S. entertainment company Landmark as well as South Korean and Japanese backers.

Landmark Asia says Landmark approached it with the idea of making a movie out of the popular “Empress” story a few of years ago.

Long-running show

“Empress,” which also concerns Min’s battles for social change within Korea — a policy that made a fierce enemy of her tradition-minded father-in-law — is restaged in local theaters as a musical year after year to unflagging ticket sales.

The story, in nonmusical form, also began a 100-part run on television May 9, where ratings place it among the top shows in the country.

The film — also not planned as a musical — will go before cameras sometime in the second half of 2002. It will be shot entirely in Hollywood with a multicultural cast — though it’s planned the role of Min will be played by a Korean actress with English-speaking abilities or a Korean-American actress. Pic will be filmed in English.

Total budget for the film is estimated at $50 million, with Landmark and Samhwa splitting the bill. The set and royal costumes will be elaborate and historically accurate, Landmark Asia rep Jae-kyoung Park says.

Script is in development, and a director is not yet attached — though Korean filmmaker Ha Moung-joon is mentioned as a strong candidate.

Landmark also plans to invest $115 million within the next three years in the Korean entertainment industry through Landmark Asia’s theme park, animation and movie biz.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading