FocusFeatures has teamed up with Korea's LJ Film to develop the epic drama The JuliaProject (working title), about an Americanwoman who became the wife of the last crown prince of Korea.
Focusand LJ's new US arm will co-produce and co-finance the project, which is set tobegin production late this year and will be mostly in the English language.Focus holds worldwide rights.
LJFilm founder and chief executive officer Seung-jae Lee recently aligned thecompany with new parent company Prime Entertainment as part of his mandate towork with international partners on Korean productions.
TheJulia Project tells the story of JuliaMullock and Kyu Lee, who were married in 1959. Mullock was thrust into acountry at a time of immense flux and struggled to find her place in it.
LJFilm managing director Sohee Kim will produce with Lee, who researched thestory and gained the approval of Mullock. The producers expect to announce ascreenwriter shortly.
LJ'scredits include Kim Ki-Duk's Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter - And Spring which garnered international acclaim, and played atfestivals throughout 2003 before going on worldwide release in 2004.
Focusnegotiated the deal with Richard Heller and Victoria Cook of Frankfurt KurnitKlein & Selz PC on behalf of L J Film America.
"Havingtaken note of the quality of the movies that Seung-jae Lee and LJ are making,we at Focus thought it was time we pooled our resources to tell Julia'sstory," Focus Features president James Schamus said.
"LJand Focus are both guided by a shared goal, of nurturing new voices for worldcinema," Lee added. "Everyone here at LJ is looking forward tocollaborating with James and his Focus team on this unique and exciting film,one which we hope will help forge new alliances for the Korean filmindustry."
Jean Noh in Seoul contributed to this article