CJ Entertainment, which enjoyed juicy box office success this year with JK Youn’s nostalgic melodrama “Ode to My Father” and the Ryoo Seung-wan directed action comedy “Veteran,” unveiled its powerhouse slate for 2015-16 at its 20th anniversary bash in Busan Saturday night.
In the past two decades, CJ has distributed 505 titles and sold some 500 million tickets according to Jeong Tae-sung, CEO of CJ Entertainment who took the stage at the party held at Club Abyss in the Grand Hotel.
It will release a total of 13 Korean films. That includes “Young Miss,” (Korean title,) a film adaptation of lesbian novel “Fingersmith” by top Korean director Park Chan-wook, who has not directed a Korean-language feature since the Cannes-winning “Thirst” in 2009. The piece stars Ha Jung-woo (“Assassination”) and Kim Min-hee (“No Tears for the Dead”).
It also has set “Asura,” a crime thriller starring Hwang Jung-min (“Veteran”), who also has a lead role in CJ’s December release “The Himalayas,” Jung Woo-sung (“The Divine Move”), and Kwak Do-won (“The Shameless”). Team “Asura” walked the red carpet at the Busan Film Festival’s opening ceremony.
Jung also stars in another major picture for CJ titled “Remember You,” a melodrama about a man who lost his memory in an accident. Kim Ha-neul co-stars in “Remember.” K-pop singer-actress Suzy-starring period drama “The Sound of a Flower” is also set for a 2016 release. “Flower” is about legendary Korean traditional pansori singer Shin Jae-hyo and the first woman singer of the Joseon era that he trained.
At its 20th anniversary party Saturday night, CJ also revealed four Vietnamese productions including Derek Nguyen’s “Housemaid,” a genre flick set in Vietnam under the French government, a friendship drama directed by Viet Max “LOVE,” the Phan Gia Nhat Linh-directed romantic comedy “Sweet 20,” a story about an old lady suddenly finding herself back in her 20s, and Cuong Ngo-directed action “Tracer.”
CJ Entertainment has been building up its local production capacity with support from its CJ-CGV multiplexes and distribution operations in Vietnam. Indonesian production “A Copy of My Mind” by director Joko Anwar was pitched at Busan’s Asian Film Market last year and premiered last month in Toronto.
CJ is the Korean distributor for DreamWorks Animation and will next year handle Korean releases of “Kung Fu Panda 3,” and “Trolls.” Chris Columbus-produced “The Young Messiah (formerly “Christ the Lord”),” which CJ financed, has recently confirmed a March 2016 release in the U.S.
(Pictured: K-pop band Ace of Angels performs at CJ’s Saturday night party in Busan.)