CJ E&M Unveils Largest-Ever Korea-China Co-Production

China Film Group and Pegasus & Taihe Entertainment will invest $20 million in director Park Kwang-hyun's sci-fi fantasy "The Fist," which will be released simultaneously in the two Asian countries.

SEOUL – South Korean media and entertainment giant CJ E&M (formerly CJ Entertainment) announced Monday that it has secured the largest-ever single-movie investment from China for its upcoming sci-fi fantasy The Fist (working title).

CJ said it signed an investment letter of intent on April 21 with China’s state-backed studio and distributor China Film Group and the private production and investment company Pegasus & Taihe Entertainment.

The two Chinese companies will co-invest, co-produce and later distribute the film nationwide in China. They will finance some 30 percent -- $20 million -- of the budget.

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The Fist is meaningful in that it presents a new model for Korean cinema’s growing influence in world cinema,” said Jung Tae-sung, head of CJ E&M’s film division. “We expect that it will introduce an unprecedented paradigm in terms of opening up a market for international funding and raising the bar for Korean blockbusters.”

Set in the future, The Fist is about a man that can’t stay quiet when he observes injustice. He ends up in a village in the deep woods and embarks to battle dark forces threatening the small community.

Park Kwang-hyun, known for the popular 2005 Korean War drama Welcome to Dongmakgol, is penning and directing the story. The film project also made headlines two years ago when it became rumored that actor Zo In-sung would be cast in the lead role, but at this point the lead casting remains unconfirmed. 

Pegasus & Taihe Entertainment and CJ have previously announced a co-production partnership on the upcoming Beijing, Imperial City, a historical epic about the Chinese capital. James Cameron's Cameron Pace Group has also signed on to provide 3D technical support and production for the film. Imax is also a partner on the project.