Ji-woon Kim’s Korean Spaghetti Western The Good, the Bad and the Weird

You gotta love the idea of the Koreans doing their take on the classic Spaghetti Western ala Sergio Leone and the Man Without a Name. And the fact that it’s being helmed by Ji-woon Kim, whose last movie “A Bittersweet Life” was one of the most refreshing crime actioners to come out of that country in a long while, just makes “The Good, The Bad, and the Weird” that much more highly anticipated. (I’m really not sure why they changed “the Ugly” to “the Weird”, but maybe it’s a Korean thing.) Information on the film is scarce, but I found this description via the Korean Film Council:

A so-called “Korean-style Western” set in Manchuria during the early 1900s, the film ranks as one of the highest-profile Korean films scheduled to be shot this year. The casting of three major actors in a single film also makes it a virtual showcase of Korean star power. Produced by Barunson and sold internationally by Cineclick Asia, The Good, The Bad and the Weird will cost over $10 million and is tentatively scheduled to start shooting in spring of this year, with a release expected in 2008. Inspired by the Sergio Leone classic The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, the film also builds off a string of Korean genre films from the 1970s that combined the aesthetics of the Western with outlaw movements aligned against Japanese colonial forces.

At the Mandiapple forum, there’s this teaser poster for the movie:

The cast of “The Good, The Bad, and the Weird”, which accompanies an article at the Digital Chosunilbo about the movie and an interview with director Ji-woon Kim (from left to right: Song Kang-ho, Jung Woo-sung and Lee Byung-hun)

Variety reports that the $11 million dollar film has been sold in Cannes for “a high six-figure pre-sale deal with France’s ARP Selection”. Look for other territories to snatch this intriguing sounding film up.

“The Good, the Bad, and the Weird” stars Byung-hun Lee (the Good), Woo-sung Jung (the Bad), and Kang-ho Song (the Weird).