'Project' gives biopic $20 mil budget

PUSAN, South Korea — CJ Entertainment’s global projects division is readying “The Julia Project,” which it claims is the most expensive Korean movie ever made.

Project is a dramatization of the life of Julia Mullock-Lee, an American interior designer who married and divorced Korea’s last crown prince, Kyu Lee.

CJ expects to make the film largely in English on a $20 million budget, through LJ Film, a boutique that has a housekeeping deal with CJ. Delivery is loosely skedded for 2007.

Script is being developed by company topper Lee Seung-jae, who is overseeing a team of screenwriters.

Drama runs from 1950s Gotham via Tokyo to present-day Seoul. Although Mullock and Lee — then a U.S. citizen — started a fairly regular life they moved to Korea and became embroiled in political turmoil, court intrigues and the after-effects of Japanese attempts to assimilate Korea into its empire.

Mullock-Lee divorced Lee in 1982. She now lives in Hawaii. He died three months ago in Tokyo.

LJ produced Kim Ki-duk-helmed “Spring Summer Fall Winter … Spring” and last year’s Pusan festival winner “This Charming Girl.”

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