Ivanhoe and SKE are participating through their joint venture SK Global. The screenplay is being written by Young Il Kim and is based on the true story of Sungwoo Lee, a most unlikely booster of the Kansas City Royals who became a celebrity in that city for his passionate devotion to the team.
Lee was a longtime, long-distance fan of the Royals. He made a pilgrimage in 2014 to Kansas City, where he was embraced by fans, who later credited the Korean native with a win streak that led to the Royals’ first World Series appearance in 30 years.
“We are very excited about this terrific, heart-warming story, a tale of two cultures linked by a shared passion, and social media. We couldn’t have a better partner for this project than CJ,” said Ivanhoe/SK Global President John Penotti. “In terms of both content and execution, the project uniquely lends itself to an organic U.S.-Korea collaboration, and we look forward to critical and box office success in both Korea and throughout the globe.”
The project marks Ivanhoe/SK Global’s second announced local-language sports-themed project in a week, following “My Other Home,” a biopic currently shooting in Beijing starring NBA and CBA star Stephon Marbury.
“We are looking forward to seeing such a natural U.S./Korea co-production dealing with a rare true story that can only happen in our current day,” said CJ Entertainment CEO Jeong Tae-sung. “We are excited to be taking on this endeavor with Ivanhoe.”