Korean director Kim Jee-woon's Asian-Western, "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" has been acquired by French distributor ARP from Seoul-based Cineclick for French-speaking territory rights. The deal was made after thirteen minutes of footage was screened on the $11 million USD budget project. The deal is described as a "high six digits figure," considered "quite high" for Asian film in the French market.
"Kim Jee-woon has a unique flare for style and for humor," commented Michele Halberstadt," head of production and acquisitions at ARP. "We are very proud to bring his iconoclast Western to French audiences."
Cineclick says it expects further sales of the film, and cited the film's three Korean stars Song Kang-ho ("The Host"), Lee Byung-hun ("A Bittersweet Life") and Jung Woo-sung ("A Moment to Remember") as prime draws. The company's chief Youngjoo Suh cited other Western countries were showing interest, including Italy, the home of the 'Spaghetti Western.' Japan has also shown interest. "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" began shooting in early April and delivery is slated for next spring.
In other Cineclick news, Kim Ki-duk's Cannes competition film "Breath" (Soom) received a "flurry of offers" following its gala screening at the Lumiere on Saturday. ARP picked up French rights for the film prior to the start of Cannes, while other European countries inked deals for their territories in addition to agreements in Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Argentina) and Turkey. Cineclick also just concluded deals for the title in Poland (SPI), Singapore (Festive Films) and the Baltic states (Lietuvos Kinas).
Fellow Cineclick title "Opium War" by Siddiq Barmak, which is currently being shot in Afghanistan, has added Aztec International for Australia and New Zealand to its list of pre-buy distributors. Others include Alta (Spain), Shani (Greece), Maywin (ex-CIS) and Film House (Mexico). Japan's Happinet Pictures holds a stake in the project and holds Japanese rights. [Brian Brooks]