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Jun Ji Hyun's Film Faces Charges Of Plagiarism

BY Julie Jones | Aug 13, 2015 09:10 AM EDT

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When "Assassination," starring Jun Ji Hyun, opened in late July, it shot quickly to the top of the box office. According to the American entertainment publication Variety, the film achieved the highest scoring opening of any Korean film that year, earning almost $23 million in its first five days.

But the film now faces some unexpected problems. During the first week of August, novelist Choi Dong Rim filed a lawsuit against the film's producers and distributors alleging that the story was plagiarized from his novel "Korean Memories."

Choi filed a lawsuit against director Choi Dong Hoon, the production company Caper Film and the film's distributor Showbox. Choi Dong Rim is seeking $8.5 million in damages. The author also wanted to stop the film from being shown in theaters.

An anonymous source affiliated with the film told the Korean media outlet OSEN that the film's producers think the claim is groundless and that they welcome a chance to prove so in court. The anonymous quote was reprinted in the Korean publication Joongang Daily.

"We don't think we will lose the case. We're not exactly happy about getting embroiled in such an issue. Even though the alleged claim of plagiarism is groundless, the opponent brought it to court, so we think it will be better to legally prove that the claim doesn't make sense before it goes any further."

In the film Jun Ji Hyun plays sniper Ahn Ok Yoon. The film's story is set Seoul, Manchuria and Shanghai during the 1930s when Japan controlled Korea. A group of resistance fighters stationed in China decide that Ahn Ok Yun is the right person to assassinate a prominent Japanese army commander, but she is locked inside a Shanghai prison, sentenced to die. They break her out of jail.

Ha Jung Woo plays a gun for hire and undercover agent known as Hawaii Pistol. He plans to kill Ahn Ok Yun. Ahn takes her orders from Yeom Suk Jin, played by Lee Jung Jae, an agent for the Korean interim government.

Jun previously acted with Lee Jung Jae in "The Thieves. And "Assassination" provided a reunion with Ha Jung Woo, with whom she co-starred  in "Berlin File." It also reunited Jun with Choi Dong Hoon, who directed "The Thieves" and "Tazza" The High Rollers."

Jun Ji Hyun is best known for playing the Hallyu star Chun Song Yi in the fantasy drama "You Who Came From The Stars." That drama co-starred Kim Soo Hyun.

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