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CANNES '06 MARKET DAILY: Magnolia Makes a Deal For Host

2006/05/30 Source

by Eugene Hernandez and Tamara Schweitzer (May 24, 2006)

Buyers and sellers began checking out of the Marche du Film Wednesday, some heading back to their home offices. But many others stayed longer in Cannes to try to close another deal or two before exiting Cannes. In a rare deal from an American company in Cannes, Magnolia Pictures worked into the early hours of Wednesday morning to close an English language rights deal for South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's The Host, an acclaimed Directors' Fortnight entry at the festival this year that has earned growing buzz in recent days. Earlier in the fest, The New York Times' critic Manohla Dargis called it the best film she has seen at the fest so far. The U.S. buyer closed the pact with Cineclick Asia.

The company has rights to the film in North America, U.K., Australia, and New Zealand and is planning to release it later this year.
A Magnolia description of the film explains, "A hybrid of genre elements drawn from science fiction, horror, family drama and more, The Host finds present-day Seoul terrorized by an unidentified monster living in the river Han. When a young girl is taken by the creature, her family undertakes a dangerous rescue mission".

With visual effects and animation from The Orphanage, the film was written by Bong Joon-ho, Ha Joon-wan, and Baek Cheol-hyeon, from a story by Bong Joon-ho. It was produced by Choi Yong-bae, Kim Woo-teak, Jeong Tae-Seong and is presented by Chungeorahm Film and Showbox Mediaplex.

"I think The Host has the potential to become a classic of the genre", said Magnolia Pictures president Eamonn Bowles in a statement Wednesday. "The creature is one of the most impressive and imaginative movie monsters I've seen in a very long time".
Bong Joon-ho's previous feature films include Barking Dogs Never Bite in 2000 and Memories of Murder in 2003.

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia's Head of Acquisitions Tom Quinn, Manager of Acquisitions Ben Stambler and Head of Business and Legal Affairs Jason Janego with Cineclick's Young-joo Suh and Senior Manager Chi Sang-eun on behalf of Chungeorahm Film and Showbox Mediaplex.

[Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE]
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* indieWire and KOFIC agreed to share its articles on the website, as of May 24, 2006.

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