Anthony Chen (“The Breaking Ice”) is attached to direct and Shinho Lee to write “Sunset Park” for Barunson C&C, a film and TV production subsidiary of Barunson E&A, the Korean company that produced Oscar-winning hit “Parasite.”
“Sunset Park” recounts a surprising journey in the U.S. made by a Korean father with his son’s room mate, after the man receives tragic news about his son. The project is being developed by Jane Hyojin Kwon (Lucky Jane Title) and Woo-sik Seo (Barunson C&C), with Chen’s production outlet Giraffe Pictures boarding as producing partner. New York-based Lee is the writer of Na Hong-jin’s breakout Korean actioner “The Chaser” as well as Wayne Wang’s drama film “While The Women Are Sleeping.”
The cross-cultural story is only one of several high-profile global projects that the company is launching in and around the Busan International Film Festival and on TV and streaming in the coming days s it expands from its long-established base in Korean TV.
Others new projects include “Princess Bari,” an adaptation of the acclaimed Korean novel of the same title by Hwang Sok-yong, that Los Angeles-based Gina Kim is set to direct. The traditional Korean folk tale about Bari, the unwanted seventh daughter of a royal family, has powers as a shaman, and voyages from Asia to Europe, is the basis for Hwang’s novel.
The script, which has been written by Insook Chappell with development support from the BFI, is a faithful adaptation of the parts of Hwang’s novel and mainly focuses on Bari’s life in London.
The project is structured as a U.K.-Korea co-production, in partnership U.K.-based Bona Dea Films and its CEO Alice Hunter-Vernazza.
Saturday will see the broadcast and streaming launch of Barunson C&C’s “Strong Girl Nam-soon.” The series is a spin-off of “Strong Girl Bong-soon” and stars Emmy winner Lee Yoo-mi (“Squid Game,” “All of Us Are Dead”), Kim Jung-eun (“Lovers in Paris,” “Forever the Moment”), Kim Hae-sook (“Handmaiden,” “Under The Queen’s Umbrella”), Ong Seong-wu (“Life Is Beautiful”) and Byeon Woo-seok (“20th Century Girl”). It airs in Korea on JTBC and worldwide on Netflix.
Barunson C&C is headed by Seo Woo-sik, the veteran producer behind Bong Joon-ho’s “Mother” and “Okja,” Kim Jee-woon’s kimchi western “The Good, The Bad, The Weird” and hit TV series “Descendants of the Sun.” The global projects are being developed and produced in association with in-house producer Kim Heejeon, whose previous experience was within CJ Entertainment in Korea and in the U.S.
“We want to align with the future by telling global Korean stories, because Korean stories no longer only take place in Korea, but internationally across the world,” Seo told Variety.
“Turning Pages,” which represents another of Barunson C&C’s global projects, was launched last year at Busan’s Asian Project Market. The film is a Seoul-set dramedy about a struggling Asian American filmmaker who comes to Korea to work on the adaptation of a popular novel, and in the process forms an unlikely relationship with an eccentric, religious local woman. Eugene Suen, producer of Lee Isaac Chung’s “Abigail’s Harm” and director of the award-winning short “Master of Divinity” is the project’s writer and director.
Development is also now under way on an Indonesian feature film adaptation of the hit Korean TV series “Descendants of the Sun.” The production is in partnership with Hanung Bramantyo, whose K Studio previously adapted heartwarming Korean drama film “Miracle in Cell No. 7” into one of Indonesia’s biggest hit movies, and with Newko.
Barunson C&C has more than a dozen Korean TV projects in viable stages of development. These include the KOCCA-supported “Blooming,” a TV series based on the popular webtoon about a Joseon-era beautician, which is currently in development.
It is also working with: Moon Ji-won, the star writer of the global hit TV series “Extraordinary Attorney Woo; with Kim Soo-jung, director of the acclaimed web series “Semantic Error,” and its BiFan-selected feature film version; and with Park Se-young, director of “The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra,” an already cultish picture that won multiple awards at BiFan last year and was an official selection at this year’s Berlinale.
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