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Kadokawa Herald will handle Japanese distribution of “The Host,” the big-budget creature movie that is the most hotly anticipated Korean film of the year.

Deal was struck between Kadokawa and Happinet, the Japanese investor that provided coin totaling $4.8 million for the $10 million picture, helmed by Bong Joon-ho.

The film is set for Korean distribution through Showbox in July. Kadokawa and Happinet are eyeing a fall release in Japan.

Sked will likely be shaped by pic’s position in Cannes. Production shingle Chungeorahm and sales house Cineclick Asia, which represent rights in other territories, have submitted “The Host” for competition. While the genre would make it an unusual pick, U.S. and European distribs tracking the film report a strong script that positions it closer to a drama with political asides.

Story concerns a mutant creature that emerges from Seoul’s Han River and starts attacking people.

Special effects are provided by San Francisco boutique the Orphanage with John Cox’s Creature Workshop and a maquette by Weta Workshop.

Earlier this month Kadokawa also signed up to distribute CJ Entertainment’s “The King and the Clown,” Korea’s biggest box office hit of all time.