Cannes: South Korean WWII Film 'The Battleship Island' Sells Worldwide

Courtesy of CJ Entertainment
'The Battleship Island'

The CJ Entertainment title presold to 113 territories, including North America, and at record prices to Asian countries.

South Korean historical action film The Battleship Island presold to 113 territories worldwide, CJ Entertainment has announced. This marks a series of successful deals for the South Korean giant, which recently announced multiple sales deals for its crime actioner The Merciless, which received a midnight screening at last month's Cannes Film Festival.

A three-minute promo clip for the World War II flick was initially unveiled at the European Film Market in February and attracted additional buyers at the Cannes Film Market, according to CJ in a statement.

The Ryu Seung-wan (Veteran) film, which is set to open in July in South Korea, has been picked up for North America, France, Italy, Russia, Turkey, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, among other territories.

In particular, the pic has sold to key Asian countries at "a record price among South Korean films," according to Yoonhee Choi, head of international sales and distribution at CJ. Choi said she could not disclose the exact amount.

Starring A-lister Hwang Jung-min (Fox's 2016 Cannes title The Wailing) and Asian superstars Song Joong-gi (hit TV series Descendants of the Sun) and So Ji-sub (Rough Cut, Sophie's Revenge opposite Zhang Ziyi), The Battleship Island is based on a true story toward the end of World War II, when hundreds of Koreans attempted to escape forced labor on the Japanese island of Hashima.

"We have high expectations about the the strength of The Battleship Island's tight plotline and director Ryu Seung-wan's mise-en-scene. Also, we were captivated by the fact that the cast includes Song Joong-gi, who has achieved Asian superstar status through last year's TV series Descendants of the Sun, as well as Hwang Jung-min, So Ji-sub and other top-class Korean actors," said Lim Teck of Singapore's Clover Films.

"The Battleship Island is a war film, prison film as well as an escape film," the exec continued. "It has the genre appeal that is sure to captivate French moviegoers, and moreover, the film stars strong, engaging characters that move the film along."