'Beverly Hills' sequel to be distributed by Sony
“Beverly Hills Ninja 2,” a sequel to the 1997 action comedy, will lense in South Korea starting next month, making it the first mainstream Hollywood pic to do so.Local company ATM Motionwide said production will begin Oct. 6 on Jeju island before shifting to two lots at the Busan Film Studio. Sony Pictures Entertainment holds North American distribution rights. In January, the company announced that it exchanged a memorandum of understanding concerning international DVD distribution with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisition Group. Produced by Motion Picture Corp. of America and helmed by Dennis Dugan, the original “Ninja” was handled by Sony units TriStar Pictures and Columbia TriStar Films in multiple territories. Mitch Klebanoff, a writer and co-producer of the original film, has scripted and will helm the sequel. Story involves an orphaned boy who wants to be a ninja but becomes involved in a crime in Hollywood while looking for his real parents. David Hasselhoff, Lucas Grabeel (“High School Musical”) and Taiwanese model-turned-actress Lin Chiling (“Red Cliff”) are set to star in the sequel. ATM prexy Han Jung-ho will exec produce, and Kim Hyun-sung will produce. “ATM Motionwide will provide $7 million and preside over the entire production process,” Yoo Youn-soo, a unit production manager of ATM Motionwide, told Daily Variety. Company says some 70% of the pic will shoot in South Korea, with 30% in the U.S. Klebanoff is skedded to visit the Busan Film Commission on Saturday to finalize the schedule. Pic is skedded to wrap its Korean shoot on Nov. 20 and continue Stateside until the end of December. Sony is eyeing a May release date in U.S. and June in South Korea. Distribs for Korea and other international territories have not yet been secured. Companies will hold a press conference with Klebanoff and stars in attendance on Oct. 4, during the Pusan Festival.