×

Fox backs Na Hong-jin’s ‘Murderer’

Korean mini-major Showbox on board project

LONDON — Fox Intl. Prods. will co-finance Korean helmer Na Hong-jin’s feature “The Murderer” with Korean mini-major Showbox.

It’s the first time Fox has invested in a Korean pic and the first time a U.S. major has invested in a Korean project at script stage.

Project, which won an award at the 2009 Hong Kong Asian Film Financing Forum, is the story of a man living on the border of China, North Korea and Russia who accepts an assignment to assassinate someone in South Korea to pay off his debts. He soon realizes, however, that he has been set up.

Popcorn Film is producing with Korean talent agency Star M Well-Made, Showbox and Fox.

Gaumont has pre-bought “The Murderer” for France.

Fox’s interest in “The Murderer” goes back to May 2008, when international production prexy Sanford Panitch read Na’s treatment at the Cannes Film Festival. The Korean helmer emerged as one of his country’s hottest filmmakers after his debut feature, “The Chaser,” gained international kudos.

Fox wants to cement its relationship with Showbox, with which it inked a letter of intent in April 2007 to invest in and distribute Korean productions.

The studio has reserved the right to participate in any English-language remake of “The Murderer,” with Na attached to direct and Popcorn Film to produce.

Fox launched its international production division in May 2008 under Panitch, a former exec VP of production at Fox and prexy of filmed entertainment at Fox partner New Regency.

The unit has a slate of local-language projects that stretch from Europe to Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

More Film

  • Heather Parry Live Nation

    Heather Parry Fired From Live Nation Productions

    Live Nation Entertainment announced Thursday that Heather Parry will leave the company following a Variety investigation into allegations of workplace bullying. Parry ran Live Nation Productions, the TV and film arm of the touring conglomerate, for three years. In December, Variety reported that Live Nation’s human resources department had been repeatedly warned that Parry was [...]

  • A still from Sea of Shadows

    Sundance Film Review: 'Sea of Shadows'

    It’s a decidedly grim circle of life that moves us all in “Sea of Shadows,” a tight, troubling documentary eco-thriller that charts a compelling course of consequence from Chinese black-market apothecaries to the near-extinction of a rare whale in the Sea of Cortez, hitting on Mexican crime cartels and institutional corruption along the way. Austrian [...]

  • Matt Smith, Thomasin McKenzie Circle Edgar

    Matt Smith, 'Leave No Trace' Star Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie Circle Edgar Wright Movie

    Matt Smith and “Leave No Trace” star Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie are in negotiations to join Edgar Wright’s next film, “Last Night in Soho,” sources tell Variety. Details are vague about the psychological horror movie, other than it being set in London’s Soho district. Anya Taylor Joy is also in the cast. Production is expected to [...]

  • Vice Media

    Vice Media Taps Joe Simon as Chief Technology Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joe Simon has been tapped as chief technology officer at Vice Media. The newly created role will include oversight of data analytics, engineering, information technology, media operations, media technology, post production, and systems management. Prior to Vice, Simon spent three years as Encompass Digital Media’s chief operating officer. Previously he held the chief technology officer [...]

  • Michael B Jordan denzel washington

    Michael B. Jordan to Star in Denzel Washington's 'Journal for Jordan'

    Michael B. Jordan is in talks to star in Sony’s “Journal for Jordan,” a drama that will be directed by Denzel Washington. The movie, penned by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Virgil Williams, is based on the true story of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Dana Canedy’s love affair with First Sergeant Charles Monroe King. King kept a journal [...]

  • Sylvester Stallone

    Sylvester Stallone's Superhero Drama 'Samaritan' Lands at MGM

    MGM is developing the superhero drama “Samaritan” with Sylvester Stallone attached to star and produce through his Balboa Productions. The studio has acquired Bragi F. Schut’s script, which centers on a boy learning that a missing superhero, who vanished 20 years earlier after a battle, may still be alive. MGM will develop “Samaritan” with Stallone [...]

  • Kendrick Lamar

    Oscars: Kendrick Lamar and SZA Will Not Perform 'Black Panther' Song (EXCLUSIVE)

    Despite the Academy’s efforts to secure Kendrick Lamar and SZA for a performance of the Oscar-nominated song “All the Stars” from “Black Panther” on the upcoming Oscars telecast, the duo will not be a part of the show, Variety has learned. The reason, according to a source close to the situation, is logistics and timing. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content