South Korea’s CJ Entertainment, the studio behind multiple Oscar-winner “Parasite,” confirmed that it is leading its AFM sales slate with “Decision to Leave,” the newly announced title by another master director, “Oldboy” helmer Park Chan-wook.
The studio is pitching the film as a crime-romancer with dialogue in Korean and Chinese. The story involves a detective, to be played by Park Hae-il (“Memories of Murder”), who develops romantic feelings for a woman, played by China’s Tang Wei, who should be the prime suspect in a murder case he is investigating.
The studio provides no other updated information on delivery, production budget or supplementary casting. When CJ announced the film last month, it said that it would be investor and local Korean distributor of the film, but told Variety at the time that it had not settled on the international sales agency role.
In many recent instances, CJ has held back rights for distribution in territories where it has its own theatrical releasing capacity, and its sister company CJ-CGV is a major theater operator. These territories include Vietnam, Indonesia, and Turkey. CGV is a minor cinema operator in Hong Kong and the U.S. and has a much larger presence in mainland China. In each of these territories, the decision to go with a license deal or a direct distribution will likely be based on timing, competing offers, the interest of streaming platforms and politics — Korean films have not been released theatrically in China for the past three years due to China’s unofficial boycott of Korean cultural goods.
South Korea, however, has dealt relatively well with the coronavirus outbreak, and for several months was one of the few places where films were consistently being shot. As a result, CJ has at least four other titles now in post-production, and still more now completed and awaiting a release.
Among those in post is crime-action film “The Voice,” which makes its market debut at AFM. The story involves a man who infiltrates a gang of criminals involved in voice phishing. Co-direction is by Kim Sun and Kim Gok. Delivery is set for some time in 2021.
Comedy drama “The Count” recounts a story of a young boxer and his coach who start their own club after the youngster is cheated out of a win. Delivery is also set for 2021. “Hard Hit” is an action thriller about a nobody whose life and family are thrown into turmoil by a single phone call alleging a bomb plot. “Black Money” is a crime drama based on real events, in which a detective seeks to overturn the wrongful conviction 15 years earlier of three boys.
Among CJ’s completed titles are “The Collectors,” Korea’s current top box office film, and clone drama “Seobok,” which releases next month. The film stars Gong Yoo, from “Train to Busan,” and “The Age of Shadows” alongside Park Bo-gum from previous CJ films “Coin Locker Girl” and “Roaring Currents.”