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Cannes: Korean Thriller ‘Merciless’ Sold to 85 Territories

Variety logo Variety 5/2/2017 Sonia Kil
© Provided by Variety

South Korean crime thriller “The Merciless,” which bows in the Cannes festival’s midnight screenings section this month has racked up distribution deals in some 85 territories. Sales are handled by CJ Entertainment.

Korean zombie action film “Train to Busan” was launched in the same slot last year and went on to be a smash hit in Asia and Europe. This year a total of five Korean films play in the festival.

Among the deals for “Merciless” are ones with ARP for France and French speaking territories, and with JBG Pictures for Australia and New Zealand. Sony Pictures Entertainment acquired rights for India and the subcontinent. Movie Cloud took it for Taiwan, Viva Communications for the Philippines, and Bloomsbury for Mongolia.

“Merciless” is set for Korean commercial release on May 18, ahead of its festival bow. It is set for June releases in France and Taiwan.

Directed by Byun Sung-hyun (“Whatcha Wearin’”) and starring veteran actor Sul Kyung-gu (“Cold Eyes”) and K-pop idol-turned-actor Im Si-wan (“The Attorney”), “Merciless” sees a gangster who partners up with a fearless newbie to take over a gang.

“‘Merciless’ is a very tense thriller with outstanding screenwriting, directing skills and characters. Great gunfights and unexpected twists highlight the film’s charm,” said ARP’s Michele Halberstadt.

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