By Peter Knegt | Indiewire August 31, 2009 at 5:48AM
Magnolia Pictures announced today that it has acquired North American rights to Bong Joon-Ho's "Mother." The film - a thriller about a mother's primal love for her son - debuted at Cannes in Un Certain Regard earlier this year and is set to screen at upcoming editions of the Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival. Gearing up for a Bong Joon-ho retrospective, the deal was made jointly with Magnolia's acquisition of the rights to Bong's 2000 debut, "Barking Dogs Never Bite," which has never been released stateside.
"We are thrilled to be in the Bong Joon-Ho business again, and to be doing our first deal with CJ Entertainment," said Magnolia Senior Vice President Tom Quinn, in a statement. "'Mother' is one of the best films of the year from one of the world's most versatile, exciting directors, and 'Barking Dogs' makes a great addition to our growing library. We want to be releasing Bong's films as long as he keeps making them."
Magnolia had a big hit in 2007 with Bong's "The Host," and hopes lightning strikes twice with "Mother," which stars Kim Hye-ja as a mother who throws herself body and soul into proving the innocence of her son who she believes to be wrongly accused of murder. The film has been announced as Korean selection for this year's Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and Magnolia plans on releasing the film theatrically sometime early next year.
"I'm very thrilled that Magnolia will be distributing 'Mother' to the wider audience in North America," said Bong, in a statement. "Having previously worked with Magnolia on 'The Host,' I am well aware of their love and passion for film. I hope 'Mother' can once again fuel up the interest of North American audiences in Korean cinema."