South Korean sales agent Finecut has secured three new titles for the Cannes Market led by Ha Jung-woo’s Chronicle Of A Blood Merchant, based on the internationally acclaimed novel by Yu Hua.
Chronicle Of A Blood Merchant will be directed by Ha Jung-woo, who will also play the lead. Ha, star of The Chaser and The Berlin File, made his directorial debut last year with light-hearted comedy Fasten Your Seatbelt, backed by CJ Entertainment. Ha Ji-won from Sector 7 and Haeundae also stars.
Published in 1996, the bestselling novel is from Yu Hua, the celebrated Chinese author of To Live, which was also adapted by Zhang Yimou into the Cannes-awarded film in 1994.
Set in 1950s Korea, it tells the story of a man who sells his blood over the years in a draining effort to make his family’s life better.
Budgeted at $5.5m, Next Entertainment World (NEW) is investing in and distributing the film. Produced by Dhuta and Dasepo Club, it is due to start shooting in early May.
Finecut will also bring Fashion King to the Croisette next month. Based on the popular web comic of the same title the film is currently in production, directed by Oh Ki-hwan. Oh’s credits include The Art of Seduction and the recent Korea-China co-production A Wedding Invitation, which became a mainland China hit.
The romantic comedy is about a teenage boy who goes from being a “fashion terrorist” to a “fashion king” in order to win the heart of the prettiest girl at his school.
It will star Joo Won, from TV series Good Doctor. His love interest will be played by Park Se-young, from TV’s School. K-pop group f(x) member Sulli features as a girl who has a crush on the fashion king while An Jae-hyun from TV’s My Love From The Star plays his rival.
Also backed by NEW, Fashion King is produced by Ylab with Nomad Film. The film is set for local release this fall.
Completing the hat-trick of titles is The Tunnel, billed as Korea’s first 3D stereoscopic horror film. It centres on a group of friends who go to party at a high-end resort before its official opening, but end up confronting the horrors of an abandoned coal mine.
Directed by first timer Park Gyu-tek and produced by Filma Pictures, whose credits include the 2010 Cannes Critics’ Week title Bedevilled, The Tunnel was shot on location in a decommissioned coal mine. It is currently in post-production, aiming for a summer release in both 2D and 3D formats.