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Korean Film News
SEOBOK to Debut Simultaneously in Theaters and Online on April 15
- Writerby Pierce Conran
The highly anticipated sci-fi drama SEOBOK, featuring GONG Yoo and PARK Bo-gum and with Architecture 101 (2012) director LEE Yong-ju at the helm, has been scheduled for release on April 15. In a first for distributor CJ Entertainment, the film will bow simultaneously in theaters and on the CJ ENM-operated streaming service TVING.
The film was originally scheduled for release in December last year but was postponed owing to a steep rise in COVID-19 infections during the end of year season. While several smaller companies modified their release plans during the pandemic, with films such as Time to Hunt, CALL and SPACE SWEEPERS scrapping theatrical release in favor of global Netflix bows, CJ Entertainment, the top distributor in Korea, has been riding out the health crisis, releasing only a trickle of theatrical films, waiting for the situation to improve.
As the pandemic has dragged on, expectations in the market have consequently changed and CJ has now adopted a hybrid release strategy for its next major film. The TVING service, which is only available in Korea, is known for servicing drama series from cable providers OCN (which is owned by CJ), tvN (also owned by CJ) and JTBC.
The service recently began producing its own original content and the exclusive online booking of a major title like SEOBOK will no doubt prove to be an enticing value proposition that could help the service boost its subscriber base.
TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016) star GONG plays a retired agent who takes on a special job to transport the world’s first human clone, named Seo Bok, who is played by PARK Bo-gum (Coin Locker Girl, 2015). As several factions converge to them, the pair must work together to evade capture.