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TIME TO HUNT Netflix Launch Back on Track as Parties Resolve Legal Dispute

Apr 21, 2020
  • Writer by Pierce Conran
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Contents Panda Drops Injunction, Little Big Pictures Apologizes

The release plan for the Korean youth sci-fi thriller Time to Hunt from distributor Little Big Pictures has taken several twists and turns since it premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, with the last few weeks being particularly turbulent owing to ongoing legal issues. A planned global Netflix release scheduled for April 10 was suddenly scrapped when the Seoul Central District Court issued a temporary injunction on April 8, but just a week later, Little Big Pictures and foreign sales agent Contents Panda have managed to resolve their dispute and the streaming launch appears to be back on track.
* The movie will be available on Netflix from April 23. (Updated 21.04.2020)

The long-awaited sophomore work from director YOON Sung-hyun, who debuted with the acclaimed indie Bleak Night in 2010, Time to Hunt follows a group of down-on-their-luck youths in an economically ravaged near future who plan a risky heist and are then on the run. The film, which features Bleak Night stars LEE Je-hoon and PARK Jung-min, as well as CHOI Woo-shik of PARASITE (2019) and AHN Jae-hong (SECRET ZOO), premiered as a gala screen in Berlin and was originally slated to be released theatrically in Korea on February 26, a plan that was scrapped as the Covid-19 situation intensified in the country in mid-February.

On March 22, Little Big Pictures announced that they had reached a deal with Netflix, which would take all rights to the film and launch it across 190 territories on April 10. This sparked a quick response from Contents Panda, which had already signed deals with 30 international distributors and was aiming to seal a further 70. Contents Panda, also a part financier in the film, claimed the new deal was a gross break of contract and took their grievance to the Seoul District Court, which sided with them, issuing an injunction barring the film from screening outside of Korea on April 8. A day later, Netflix paused the release entirely, as they awaited a resolution. 

Following renegotiations with the original overseas distributors, Contents Panda has now agreed to drop the injunction, while Little Big Pictures has apologized to Contents Panda and thanked them for speedily resolving the situation.
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