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‘Oldboy’ Director Park Chan-wook Sets Ha Jung-woo as Star of Sexy ‘Fingersmith’

SEOUL – Ha Jung-woo will head the cast of “Oldboy” film maker Park Chan-wook’s “Fingersmith,” his next film as director.

The film is an Asian reinterpretation of a British lesbian-tinged novel by Sarah Waters (BBC TV series “Tipping The Velvet”.)

Ha (“The Chaser,” “The Terror Live”) will play a Korean man who leads a fraudulent life as a Japanese aristocrat at the beginning of the 20th Century.

While the original novel was set in London during the Victorian era, Park’s film is to be set in Korea during the period of Japanese colonial rule (1910-1945).

Jeong Won-jo, VP of Park’s Moho Films, told Variety that negotiations are still in progress with investors and that the budget has yet to be finalized.

Casting for the two female leads, one Korean and the other Japanese, has not been completed and, as recently as a few weeks ago, talent ads appeared on Korea’s acting job websites, sending ripples across the local community.

“Fingersmith” will be Park’s first Korean title in 5 years since 2009’s “Thirst.” In between he directed English-language “Stoker” for Fox Searchlight, and produced Bong Joon-ho’s hit “Snowpiercer” and his brother’s theatrically-released iPhone movie “Night Fishing.”

“Fingersmith” is to begin shooting at the end of May next year for a minimum period of 12 weeks, with the release date set for 2016.

Park is also set to develop and direct English-language body swap sci-fi movie “Second Born” for Rumble Films.

Park told Variety that he will keep the English-language title for international use as that was part of his agreement with Waters and because it sits well with the lesbian themes. The Korean title is to be “Agassi” which translates as ‘Young Miss.’

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