South Korea 's Showbox Mediaplex has announced plans to release the effects-laden creature feature D-War on 1,500 screens in the US, through Freestyle Releasing.

Showbox says the film is likely to open in August and see Labour Day weekend box office as well. Freestyle previously released The Illusionist in the US.

Starring Jason Behr and Amanda Brooks, the English-language film is an ambitious essay into the North American market for Showbox and the film's director Shim Hyung-rae.

Shim's previous work includes children's sci-fi films and Yonggary, an internationally targeted big-budget monster movie that sank at the box office.

Local distributor/investor and international sales agent Showbox has shown confidence in the director's comeback, saying that it 'will work for D-War's success in the US with more scrupulous preparations.'

Based on the legend of Imoogi - serpents in search of a precious stone that will transform them into dragons - the film goes from the past in Korea to present-day Los Angeles, when the city gets smashed to pieces by the Imoogi.

After a preliminary market screening at last year's American Film Market, the film went back in for more post-production and, according to Showbox, was completed May 18 after six years in the works.

Previously reported at $70m, the film's budget has been combed back to around $30m - taking out costs for equipment and technical developments incurred by the production company, Younggu Art.

Showbox also announced that the film has been pre-sold to 17 countries. While declining to go into specifics on sales territories, the company also spoke of expectations for more sales with the film's US release.