Barunson acquired 700,000 shares equalling a 51.8% stake, in Sio Films for $492,800. Head of Sio Films Syd Lim will now head production at Barunson. Lim previously produced films such as Old Boy and Ryoo Seung-wan's Crying Fist.
He will be replacing former Barunson Film Division CEO Choi Jae-won, who has joined investment and distribution company N.E.W. The company is currently distributing He's Just Not That Into You in Korea, where is has clocked up $4.42m as of this past weekend.
The new acquisition brings nine of Sio's current in-house projects to Barunson. These include projects from director Han Jae-rim, whose action hit The Show Must Go On starred Song Kang-ho; Jung Sik, who co-directed the acclaimed horror hit Epitaph; Japanese director Hiroyuki Nakano, whose Samurai Fiction was an international niche hit, and Kim Dae-woo, who directed the risque costume drama Forbidden Quest, also a box office success.
Kim is currently casting for his next film Bangjajeon (original title). The film will be a period piece with comic touches based on the Romeo-and-Juliet-style folktale of Chunhyang (on which several Korean films have been based - most notably Im Kwon-taek 's Cannes entry of the same title). But Kim's film will focus on the manservant Bangja, who is traditionally cast as a supporting character.
Barunson currently has Bong Joon-ho's upcoming mystery film Mother in post-production, with plans for local release in the first half of this year.
With The Good, The Bad, The Weird having racked up eight nominations for the upcoming Asian Film Awards (March 23) and award-winning Hansel And Gretel director Yim Phil-sung's next project The Flower Of Evil in the HAF, the company will have representatives including head of international JiYe Park at Hong Kong Filmart.
Barunson will also have at the Asian Film Awards: director Kim Jee-woon, star Jung Woo-sung, cinematographer Lee Mogae, music director Jang Young-gyu, and visual effects director Kim Wook, all attending for The Good, The Bad, The Weird.