by REERA YOO | @reeraboo
Warner Bros. has officially tapped into the South Korean film industry. According to Variety, the studio recently agreed to finance and distribute its first ever Korean-language film, Secret Agent.
Directed by Kim Jee-woon, Secret Agent, also known as Mil-jeong, is a 1930s period drama that follows a group of armed independence movement activists during the Japanese colonial rule of Korea. The film stars Song Kang-ho, who was introduced to the U.S. audience through the dystopian blockbuster Snowpiercer.
Secret Agent has a semi-modest budget of $8.62 million, which is currently being fully financed by Warner Bros. The studio, however, might recruit local partners for additional financing. With this deal, Warner Bros. is the second major Hollywood studio to produce a Korean-language film, following Fox Korea’s Intimate Enemies and Slow Video. As the direct distributor, Warner Bros. will be handling the film’s Korean theatrical release.
Lee Jin-sook, CEO of Korean production company Harbin, pitched the project to Warner Bros. when Secret Agent was still at its script stage. Variety reports that the film is currently listed as a co-production between Warner Bros. and Kim’s own production company, Grimm Pictures.
Best known for his violent thriller I Saw the Devil and classic horror A Tale of Two Sisters, Kim is considered one of the top directors in South Korea. He’s also been collaborating with Hollywood studios since directing the Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring action flick The Last Stand in 2013. Currently, Kim is attached as screenwriter on the New Regency Pictures remake of his A Bittersweet Life.
Featured image via Korean Film Biz