Kim Jee-woon directed Korean western

SEOUL – Korean western “The Good The Bad, The Weird,” has been picked up for North American distribution by IFC Films.

The pic, helmed by Kim Jee-woon, goes on release in Korea today (Thursday) with unprecedented levels of local interest. Advanced bookings for the film account for 70% of electronic ticket sales in recent days, according to local sources. That is the highest figure this year for a Korean film.

International sales and the Korean release are both handled by CJ Entertainment.

IFC says it is looking to release the pic in the first half of 2009, with a likely platform outing in five major cities and a possible expansion to other regional markets later.

Kim, who next directs a remake of French crimer, “Max et les Ferailleurs” for France’s Studiocanal, said this week that he give the film a final re-edit before an international cut is screened in the Gala section of the Toronto festival in September.

Comedy adventure pic, which stars Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun and Jung Woo-sung, preemed in Official Selection at Cannes in May in a version that Kim said needed further special effects work and color correction. In fact he has since trimmed the run time for Korean release.

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