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South Korean film giant CJ Entertainment has launched a new genre label, 413 Pictures, specializing in thrillers and supernatural horror flicks.
CJ Entertainment genre films, including both English-language and local-language Asian titles, will be released under the new banner. The company said it expects to release two to four English-language films and four to five local-language Asian pieces per year.
It has yet to be determined, however, whether Korean-language genre films will be released under 413 Pictures, according to a PR rep from CJ in Seoul.
The name for the new banner was chosen because the numbers 4 and 13 are considered unlucky in the East and West, respectively.
“Our vision for 413 Pictures is to produce unique and original genre films, globally and locally, as well as identifying and evaluating [intellectual property] that can be remade in other territories around the world,” said Francis Chung, vp global business and head of U.S. productions at CJ. “Beyond the tremendous commercial upsides to having a dedicated, branded genre label, an important aspect of 413 Pictures will be to discover and nurture emerging genre voices in Asia for both local and U.S. markets.”
The first films to be released under the 413 Pictures label in the U.S. will be the English-language remakes of CJ’s Asian titles Hide and Seek, which is due to go into production this fall, and The Housemaid, which is expected to go into production next year. CJ Entertainment is developing, financing and producing both films.
Joel David Moore (Avatar franchise) is directing Hide and Seek, a remake of the 2013 hit South Korean social crime thriller that was written and directed by Huh Jung. The movie builds upon themes related to urban apathy and financial inequality in the Asian country.
The Housemaid is an adaptation of Vietnam’s highest-grossing horror film of all time. Academy Award winner Geoffrey Fletcher is penning the new screenplay. The original film, directed by Derek Nguyen, explores racial and social themes with elements of romance during Vietnam’s postwar era.
CJ has been aggressively expanding its business in Southeast Asia, making local-language films that have had box-office success in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Upcoming local titles in the region include the Thai horror film Portrait of a Beauty.
Going into production this year, in partnership with Major Cineplex Group for a 2019 release, Portrait of a Beauty will be penned by prominent Thai screenwriter Eakasit Thairaat (4BIA, 13 Beloved). It will mark the feature debut of top commercial director Surapong Ploensang.
“The company’s move to launch the stand-alone genre label 413 Pictures comes at a time when horror films, in particular, are drawing audiences to theaters in record numbers worldwide, and reinforces CJ Entertainment’s commitment to strengthening its leadership position in global feature film productions and targeted local-language films,” said a rep for CJ.
Meanwhile, the company has signed Oscar nominee Phyllis Nagy to direct and write The Vanished and closed a deal with Drake Doremus to direct the internally developed Aurora, a romantic drama with a supernatural element penned by Salvador Paskowitz.
Updated 9:52 p.m., July 30 An earlier version of this story said all CJ Entertainment genre films would be released under 413 Picures including upcoming South Korean horror film Closet. It has yet to be decided whether Korean-language titles would be included in the lineup, according to updated information from the company.
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