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Warner Bros. Finances Korean Movie With Stars Song Kang Ho And Gong Yoo

BY Julie Jones | Aug 11, 2015 01:16 PM EDT


According to the entertainment industry publication, Variety, the Hollywood studio Warner Bros. is about to finance and distribute its first Korean language film. The film "Secret Agent" is set in the 1930s during the time when Japan controlled Korea. It focuses on resistance fighters known as the Heroic Corps, a group that uses violent means to achieve Korean independence.

The film stars Korean actors Song Kang Ho and Gong Yoo. Song, who achieved international fame with "Snowpiercer," also starred in the films "The Face Reader," "The Attorney" and "The Throne." Gong Yoo is known for both his work in dramas such as "Coffee Prince" and films such as "Silenced" and "The Suspect."

"Secret Agent" will be the fourth film in which director Kim Jee Won and actor Song Kang Ho collaborate. They worked together on "The Quiet Family," "The Foul King" and "The Good, The Bad, The Weird."

Director Kim Jee Won previously directed the films "I Saw The Devil" and the horror film "A Tale of Two Sisters." He also directed an English language film "The Last Stand."

With this production, Warner Bros. became the second Hollywood studio to finance a Korean language film. Fox previously financed "Intimate Enemies" and "Slow Video."

Variety described the Korean film industry as one of the most "vibrant" in the world and said that the nation had the world's sixth biggest box office territory, putting it ahead of Russia and Germany. Warner Bros will not only finance and distribute the film but also handle the Korean theatrical release.

Production begins in October, with filming locations in both Korea and China.

Financing and distributing the film in the U.S., means that Warner Bros can make a final call on how the film is shown there. That can potentially result in two versions of the films, one for Korea and another for North America. Before the Weinstein Company distributed Bong Joon Ho's dystopian film "Snowpiercer" in North America, they insisted on some changes. The film in its original version had already earned critical praise. However, 20 minutes of footage was cut from the U.S. release, making it more of an action movie.

The goal, according to the Weinstein Company, was to make sure the film was "understood by audiences in Iowa and Oklahoma." Introductory and closing voiceovers were added.

Whether "Secret Agent" will have both a Korean and North American version is not yet known.

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