A sequel to Shiri anda new action film by the director of Shiri and record-breaker Tae GukGi give Korean sales company MKB plenty of leverage on what is its marketdebut.
The company emerged from the merger earlier this year of production houses KangJegyuFilms and Myung Films which were acquired by local manufacturing company SeshinBuffalo to form MK Buffalo. The group is headed by Lee Eun with salesoperations are headed by familiar faces Paul Yi, formerly with E Pictures, MarkYoon, previously with CJ Entertainment, and Cody Kim of Kang Je Gyu Films.
Only the second Korean productionhouse to have a stock market listing, MKB expects to be able to fund a busyslate and take budgets in Korea to new levels.
The untitled film by Kang Je Gyu,whose $13m Tae Guk Gi was the record grossing film of all time in Koreawith a $65m take, at is billed as a high-concept, high quality action film.Kang is currently writing the screenplay with a view to beginning production inautumn 2005. Where Tae Guk Gi was sold widely its very local Koreantheme limited its performance in some territories. The new picture is expectedto be more expensive and much more international, but MKB is looking less forforeign finance than to bring in international partners that bring productionand casting leverage.
Shiri 2 is expected to move into production alittle earlier. The original film, also directed by Kang, was the first modernKorean film to break out internationally and achieve significant commercialsuccess. Although Kang will not direct, he will executive produce. "TheNorth-South Korea conflict is a hot political theme these days and we expectsignificant international interest," said Yoon.
MKB has already greenlit eight projects and startedproduction on three of the five it is actively selling at AFM.
Here it is selling The President's Last Bang, a$4.5m mystery drama by Im Sang Soo director of A Good Lawyer's Wife. Itis also selling Wet Dreams 2, a $2.5m sexy comedy that is a sequel toKang Je Gyu Films' high school comedy WetDreams. It also has Hello Good-Bye Little Brother a $2m drama abouta troublesome brat who becomes a reformed character when his brother falls ill.