Thriller Is Latest Commercial Korean Film to Pivot to Streaming Release
The upcoming thriller CALL with PARK Shin-hye and JUN Jong-seo has become the latest mainstream Korean film to abandon a planned theatrical release in favor of a global streaming launch on Netflix. The streamer will debut the film online in its 190 markets on November 27.
CALL was originally scheduled to open in March but distributor Next Entertainment World (NEW) cancelled the release in late February, when the first major COVID-19 spike hit Korea in Daegu. The film was among the first wave of Korean titles that delayed their releases in 2020. It is the second major Korean film to skip theaters entirely and go straight to Netflix, following Time to Hunt, which similarly had to forego a late February release before finding its way to Netflix in April.
Rumors have been swirling in the media recently that several major Korean blockbusters, such as the SF action-drama SPACE SWEEPERS and the SF fantasy-drama WONDERLAND have also been in talks with the streamer, though nothing has been confirmed as of yet. Also rumored to be heading to Netflix is PARK Hoon-jung’s crime drama Night in Paradise (2019), which was recently screened at the Venice International Film Festival.
The feature debut of director LEE Chung-hyun, CALL is a thriller about two women who are living in the same house twenty years apart but are connected by an old cordless phone. PARK Shin-hye recent scored a hit in the zombie drama #ALIVE alongside YOO Ah-in, which had a successful theatrical release before also being released globally by Netflix. The film also features JUN Jong-seo in her second screen role, following her breakout debut in LEE Chang-dong’s BURNING (2018), which screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and became the first ever Korean film shortlisted for the Best International Film category at the Academy Awards.
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