AFM: South Korean Tentpole ‘Noryang: Deadly Sea’ Sells to Japan

AFM: South Korean Tentpole ‘Noryang: Deadly Sea’ Sells to Japan

Major U.S. acquisitions of Asian film titles have been scarce at the American Film Market so far this year, but business within the region nonetheless has been humming. The much-anticipated Korean period action tentpole Noryang: Deadly Sea has scored a deal at AFM for Japan distribution with Tokyo-based Twin Co. Ltd.

Seoul-based sales agent Acemaker is repping the title to international buyers.

The film is the third and final title in director Kim Han-min’s trilogy about battles led by the famed Korean admiral Yi Sun-sin that started with The Admiral: Roaring Currents in 2014 and was followed by Hansan: Rising Dragon in 2022. The first film earned $138 million worldwide, which was the most ever by a Korean film at the time.

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The new installment depicts the historical Battle of Noryang, the last major battle of the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598). The new film stars Kim Yoon-seok as Yi Sun-sin, along with Baek Yoon-sik, Jung Jae-young and Huh Joon-ho.

The film’s official summary reads: “In 1598, the seven-year Imjim War nears an end as Wae invaders prepare to withdraw from Joseon. Admiral Yi Sun-shin leads an allied fleet of Joseon and Ming ships to annihilate the Wae army. Joseon, Ming and Wae forces clash at Noryang Straight, the deadly sea where Admiral Yi fights his last valiant battle.”

Noryang: Deadly Sea is produced by Big Stone Pictures and distributed in Korea by Lotte Pictures. It is scheduled to be released at home in South Korea sometime in December.