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Kim Jong-hak to direct ‘Magic Bell’

Helmer's co. to produce film with Lion Rock, Tosoa

SEOUL — Korean TV director and producer Kim Jong-hak announced in Cannes that he will helm fantasy epic “Legend of Magic Bell.”

Pic will be co-produced by Chang’s Lion Rock Prods., Kim’s Kim Jong-hak Prods. and China’s Tosoa Entertainment.

Kim has been one of the most acclaimed and influential TV directors in Korea for more than 30 years. His last 24-episode series, “The Legend of Four Gods,” was a hit across Asia. Kim had produced a few films in the late 1990s, but he has never directed a feature.

“Legend of Magic Bell” is a Chinese-language 3-D film set in China 5,000 years ago. The $28 million budget will be mainly raised by Lions Rock, with a support from the pic’s international sales agency Golden Network Asia.

Kim also said that he is in talks with thesps Won Bin (“Mother”) and Rain (“Speed Racer”) for the male lead role.

Lensing is slated to start in the early 2010.

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