, the film version of the TV show currently taking Korea by storm has had commiserate success pre selling to a number of territories ahead of this year's AFM. Staring the rapidly ascending international star Lee Byung-hun
, the TV version is currently garnering ratings of more than 30%. The show itself is also about to play in Japan and other Asian countries. The new sales come amongst a successful Korean film industry year that for some harkens back to the days of the Korean Wave when films like "My Sassy Girl
" (2001) put Korean pop culture on the map for much of the world. More recent success was evident with the titanic Haeundae, which sold to a number of territories overseas and broke box office records domestically. Other Korean actors like Gianna JUN have been seen in international productions, directors such as Kim Jee-woon
are directing international productions and the International Film Festival of Marrakech will play 44 Korean films as part of a Korean film retrospective.
Both the series and the film version are produced by Taewon Entertainment the company behind the successful "Marrying the Mafia"
series (2004, 05, 06) and the China co-production "Three Kingdoms: Resurrection Of The Dragon
" (2007). Sales agent Finecut, sold the film to China's Mega Films who also distributed the successful "200 Pounds of Beauty" (2006) there. German-speaking Europe is being handled by indie film distribution company MFA+ and Visicom Surya will take care of Singapore and Malaysia.
The film and the series success may be due in part to Lee Byung-hun
who almost constitutes a mini international Korean wave all by himself . The actor is quickly rising up the international stardom ladder fresh from appearing in international film "I Come with the Rain" and blockbuster GI Joe. He is slated to appear in GI Joe 2 which is to start filming this year.
David Oxenbridge (KOFIC)