'Chaser' director casts leads in 'Sea'

Break-out hit sold remake writes to Warner Bros.

SEOUL – Na Hong-jin, the first-time director who shot to fame last year with "The Chaser," has re-cast his two leading men to headline in his next film.
 
The thriller, now titled "Yellow Sea," having previously been called "Murderer," is set to start production in November. The story follows a man who travels from China to Korea for a contract killing, but ends up being hunted by a rival assassin.
 
Ha Jung-woo, who also starred in recent smash hit "Take Off," will play the Chinese-Korean, while Kim Yun-seok ("Tazza The High Rollers") plays the other hit man.
 
"Yellow Sea" has secured half of its 10 billion won ($8.2 million) budget from investment house and talent management agency Wellmade StarM. It will be produced by Popcorn Film ("Crazy First Love") and distributed by Showbox.
 
Sources at Wellmade StarM say that the financing has not been completely locked down. Several other companies, including at least one Hollywood studio, are still considering buying in before the start of production.
 
A gruesome serial killer thriller, "The Chaser" was a rare breakout debut feature. It scored 5.1 million admissions on release in Korea, had its international debut in official selection at Cannes and was sold to Warner Bros. for remake.
 
Wellmade StarM, previously invested $10 million in "The Warrior's Way" (formerly “Laundry Warrior”), a big-budget Korean-New Zealand co-production starring its client Jang Dong-gun.
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