'Host 2' gets green from MDA

Sequel to Korea's biggest boxoffice hit set for 2011

HONG KONG -- "Host 2," the $10 million sequel to South Korea's biggest movie hit ever, has been green-lighted following an injection of cash from Singapore's Media Development Authority.

Earlier this week the Korea Creative Contents Agency announced that the film had won a competition for its investment too.

The film, to be produced by Korea's Chungeorahm Films and Singapore's Boku Films, is also the first movie to make use of the film co-production agreement signed in 2007 by the two countries. SK Telecom is also a confirmed investor.

The picture is currently at script stage, with shooting expected to begin in 2010 with release to follow in 2011. Director and cast have yet to be appointed, although "The Host" director Bong Joon-ho appears to have already ruled himself out.

Released in 2006, "The Host," which plots a mutant creature on a rampage through Seoul, is the highest-grossing film of all time at the Korean boxoffice, having scored more than 13 million admissions. According to the MDA the picture was sold to 134 countries and grossed $90 million worldwide.

The cash from KOCCA also means that the sequel will use Korean-made special effects, where the first film turned to San Francisco's The Orphanage for most of its digital imagery.

The KOCCA program consists of a grant of $1.51m that goes to Chungeorahm and its CGI partner Macrograph to research and develop CGI. Chungeorahm and Macrograph are expected to put up $490,000 of "matching funds."

"Host 2" is billed as a prequel to Bong’s original, using as its starting point an incident where toxic waste is released into the Han River.

Production credits go to Choi Yong-Bae of Chungeorahm and Singapore producer-director Kelvin Tong of Boku.