Korea's most expensive television series, Taewangsashin-gi, aka The Four Guardian Gods Of The King, featuring Korean Wave mega-star Bae Yong-joon, is due to hit local theatres in May.

The announcement from producer Kim Jong-hak follows on the heels of the TV drama's theatrical release in Japan on 10 screens nationwide, with a widening release.

Kim stated the 24-part series, budgeted at $46m, would be retrenched into three parts with additional 'dynamic editing, sound effects and color correction' for its theatrical version.

The film, which aired on MBC in Korea to 35.7% ratings, deals with the trials, tribulations and rise of King Gwang-gaeto of the Goguryeo dynasty - one that spread out north of the Korean peninsula into the reaches of present-day China.

The series also stars Venice film festival award-winning actress Moon Sori.

The Korean Wave hit TV series Winter Sonata, also starring Bae, previously screened in Japanese theatres as well.