First-time writer and director Lee Ju-yeong along with other established South Korean directors like Kim Jee-woon (‘The Good the Bad, and the Weird) are riding a tidal wave of new local production being rolled out by Warner Brothers.
The company plans to release two South Korean films in the country this year, both currently in preproduction, all this to be a part of a slate of up to four local productions for 2017.
Handling this new slate of projects is Jay Choi, a seasoned Korean producer and former executive at a number of local distribution/investment films. Choi was appointed in 2015, and was soon joined by Monique Esclavissat, Warner’s executive vp of international production and acquisition, as well as Marc Gareton, executive vp of international production.
The first two projects to be released will be Kim Jee-woon’s ‘The Age of Shadows,’ along with Lee Ju-yeong ‘s ‘A Single Rider’, staring Asian megastar Lee Byung-hun and actress Gong Hyo-jin. By Warner Brothers giving a shot to a first time director, they’re encouraging the next generation of South Korean filmmakers to help local production grow.
Choi states, “We are aiming to make Korean movies for Korean audiences… There was a lot of creative freedom, and all we had to do was translate the script. For ‘Age of Shadows’ we went into production last year and are releasing it this year, which is very efficient for any industry standard. In fact, there was actually a lot more creative freedom compared to Korean studios, because Warner Bros. has less stereotypes about the local market…”