From 'Parasite' to 'Unstoppable': 5 Hot South Korean Projects at AFM

7:15 AM 11/3/2018

by Lee Hyo-won

Lotte Cultureworks' 'Intimate Strangers' and vampire period drama 'Rampant' are also hitting the fest.

'Parasite'
'Parasite'
Courtesy of CJ Entertainment

This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's Nov. 3 daily issue at the American Film Market.

  • The Divine Fury

    Sales Showbox

    DIRECTOR Jason Kim 

    STARS Park Seo-Jun, Ahn Sung-Ki 

    BUZZ Kim reteams with his Midnight Runners star Park, who won the Grand Bell Award for best new actor (South Korea’s equivalent of the Oscars), for his role in the film, to offer more elaborate action set pieces — this time with a horror twist. Local cinema has seen a rise in exorcism tales, and this title follows an atheist martial arts champion who suddenly develops a stigmata. He turns to a local church for help but ends up saving a priest who is endangered during an exorcism and discovers his new calling.

  • Intimate Strangers

    Lotte Cultureworks

    Courtesy of Lotte Cultureworks

    DIRECTOR JQ Lee

    STARS Yoo Hai-Jin, Cho Jin-Woong, Lee Seo-Jin, Yeom Jung-A, Kim Ji-Soo 

    BUZZ This dramedy brings together an ensemble cast of South Korea’s most beloved character actors. Yoo (A Taxi Driver), Cho (The Handmaiden), Yeom (Cart) and more appear in this story about two lifelong friends-turned married couple that invites their closest childhood pals for a housewarming dinner. All goes well until they start playing a game where they must share all their mobile messages and calls. Soon, awkward truths emerge and friendships are put to the test.

  • Parasite

    CJ Entertainment

    Courtesy of CJ Entertainment

    DIRECTOR Bong Joon-Ho 

    STARS Song Kang-Ho, Lee Sun-Kyun, Cho Yeo-Jeong 

    BUZZ Snowpiercer auteur Bong teams with frequent collaborator Song Kang Ho for the fourth time in this drama about a family whose members are all unemployed. After wrapping in September, Parasite has already presold to North America (Neon), German- and French-speaking territories (Koch Films, The Jokers Films) and Japan (Bitters End) ahead of its 2019 release.

  • Unstoppable

    Showbox

    Courtesy of Showbox

    DIRECTOR Kim Min-Ho 

    STARS Don Lee, Song Ji-Hyo, Kim Sung-Ho 

    BUZZ Not to be confused with the 2010 Denzel Washington title of the same name, Unstoppable stars the highly sought-after Don Lee (The Train to Busan) — whom Jason Blum calls his favorite Korean actor and "Korea’s Dwayne Johnson" — in yet another testosterone-fueled role. The story focuses on the once-legendary gangster Dong-chul, who leaves the underworld and tries to start an ordinary life but gets his hands dirty again when a group of very unlucky human traffickers kidnap his wife (Song). The action film marks the feature debut of director Kim.

  • Rampant

    New

    Courtesy of Bravos Pictures

    DIRECTOR Kim Sung-Hoon 

    SALES Content Panda 

    STARS Hyun Bin, Jang Dong-Gun 

    BUZZ This lavish period vampire drama headlined by Asian superstars Hyun (Confidential Assignment) and Jang (V.I.P., My Way, opposite Kate Bosworth and Geoffrey Rush) debuted at No. 1 at the South Korean box office during the Oct. 26-28 weekend with a dominating $7.7 million and 51.6 percent market share. Set during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910), the film sees martial artist Prince Ganglim return from captivity in Qing China and shocked to discover that bloodsucking "Night Demons" are wreaking havoc in his home country.