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Park Chan-wook’s First Movie Since ‘Handmaiden’ Is a Murder Mystery Romance Filming This Month

Production on the director's "Decision to Leave" will begin before the end of the month.

Park Chan-wook's "The Handmaiden"

Park Chan-wook’s “The Handmaiden”


Park Chan-wook is set to return to moviemaking later this month as production kicks off on “Decision to Leave,” the South Korean auteur’s long-awaited first film since the 2016 release of “The Handmaiden.” Park followed his beloved erotic lesbian drama with a trip to television courtesy of AMC and BBC’s six-episode limited series “The Little Drummer Girl,” an adaptation of John Le Carré’s 1983 novel that starred Michael Shannon, Alexander Skarsgård, and Florence Pugh. Now the director is returning to the movies with a project that recalls “Basic Instinct.”

“Decision to Leave” is a romantic murder mystery that follows a detective (Park Hye-il of Bong Joon Ho’s “The Host” and “Memories of Murder”) who falls for a mysterious widow (Tang Wei of Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution” and Michael Mann’s “Blackhat”) after she becomes the number one suspect in his latest murder investigation. The supporting cast includes Go Kyung-pyo, Park Yong-woo, and Lee Jung-hyun, the latter of whom starred in Park Chan-wook’s 2011 horror short “Night Fishing.”

Park co-wrote the script for his latest film with Jeong Seo-kyeong, a frequent collaborator who helped write “I’m a Cyborg, but That’s OK” (2006), “Thirst” (2009), and “The Handmaiden” (2016). The latter title competed for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. With production on “Decision to Leave” set to start before the end of October, Park Chan-wook could find himself back at Cannes in 2021 with a world premiere.

Per Variety: “Decision to Leave” is “produced by Moho Film and counts CJ Entertainment as its principal financial backer. CJ is also set as the distributor in its Korean home market. A decision on international sales representative has not yet been settled.”

CJ Entertainment is coming off the renowned success of Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite.” Along with Bong, Park is one of the most prolific South Korean filmmakers working today. Additional Park Chan-wook films include “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance” (2002), “Oldboy” (2003), “Lady Vengeance” (2006), and his English-language psychological thriller “Stoker” (2013), starring Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman. Park’s most recent credit is as a producer on the TNT series “Snowpiercer,” an adaptation of the Bong Joon Ho movie of the same name.

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