Major Korean distributor CJ Entertainment has sold Kim Jee-woon's self-described 'Oriental Western' The Good, The Bad, The Weird to IFC Films for the US.

The two companies are looking at a release in the first half of 2009 starting in five major cities including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago with a possible wide release throughout the US. IFC Films is to take on all p&a costs.

A homage to Sergio Leone's The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, the rollicking period piece is set in the Manchurian plains of Chinaduring the Japanese occupation and features top stars Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun and Jung Woo-sung.

With Kim touted as the fourth 'star' of the film for his popularity with audiences, and build-up of word-of-mouth after a successful screening out of competition in Cannes, the film is topping local ticket reservation charts ahead of its release tomorrow (July 17).

The film is also due to screen in the Special Presentations section of the Toronto film festival in September.

It has so far closed deals to 12 countries with additional ones to Japan and Spain pending.