As Entry of Koreans Are Temporarily Restricted Due To COVID-19, Film Industry Hit a Rocky Patch

With the spread of COVID-19 worldwide, the film industry is an alert. Numerous upcoming films, such as Time to Hunt, Parasite: Black and White, Call and Move the Grave, are all postponing their schedules. This is not the end. As a growing number of countries are banning any entries from Korea temporarily, all the movies scheduled to film overseas are facing troubles.

Credit: CJ Entertainment

The Negotiation (literal translation), starring Hwang Jung Min and Hyun Bin, is facing the biggest crisis. The film, which deals with the kidnapping of Koreans in the Middle East, was scheduled to start filming in Jordan in March. But as large numbers of Koreans were confirmed with COVID-19 on February 23, Jordan is currently restricting the entry of Koreans. Now, the actors and staff are waiting for a green light to leave the country and some staff are already staying in Jordan for a pre-on-site survey.

An official of Megabox Plus M, a distributor of The Negotiation, told MK Sports on February 24, “We are discussing the matter but nothing definite has been decided so far. However, we are looking into various measures and keeping a close eye on the situation. We will do our best to ensure that the filming schedules and the production will not be disrupted.”

Credit: LOTTE Entertainment

The Kidnapping (literal translation), starring Ha Jung Woo and Ju Ji Hoon, which is scheduled to film in Morocco, is also keeping a close eye on the situation due to the sudden spread of COVID-19. The movie is about the kidnapping of a diplomat in Beirut, Lebanon in 1986. Some of the staff are currently staying in Morocco for a pre-on-site survey. Although Morocco is not banning the entry of Korea, Uganda has reinforcing the inspections of Koreans and Republic of Mauritius has recently decided to restrict any entry from Korea. As certain African countries are reinforcing their actions, The Kidnapping cannot ease their mind.

According to SHOWBOX, a distributor of the movie, “’The Kidnapping’ will start filming in late March. We still have some time before an official shooting, so we will keep a close eye on future situations.”

Attention is also being paid to whether the films which already started filming overseas will continue. Fortunately, Bogota (literal translation), starring Song Joong Ki and Lee Hee Joon, which will continue filming until May in Colombia, is shooting without much hindrances as currently there were no cases confirming COVID-19. However, as a man from Brazil who returned from a trip to Italy was confirmed with COVID-19 on February 26, it’s uncertain how the situation will go.

Production team of Bogota told Newsen On February 26 that they are “currently filming in Colombia without a problem.” Bogota is a movie about young people who emigrated to Colombia in the 1990s.

Director Ryu Seung Wan’s new film, Mogadishu (literal translation), recently finished filming in Morocco. Mogadishu is a movie based on the escape of diplomatic officials from South and North Korea who got isolated in Somalia civil war in the 1990s. Kim Yoon Seok and Jo In Sung will present their first collaboration.

Credit: CJ Entertainment, SHOWBOX

In Korea, schedules for director Choi Dong Hoon’s new film have been disrupted. The first shooting as well as the actors’ meeting were all postponed. The first shooting was scheduled to start in mid-March, but due to the spread of COVID-19, they were forced to change the schedules. A table read, including director Choi Dong Hoon, Ryu Jun Yeol, Kim Tae Ri, Kim Woo Bin, Lee Ha Nee, Cho Woo Jin, Kim Eui Sung, Yeom Jeong Ah, So Ji Sub and Yoo Jae Myung, has already been postponed once.

This upcoming movie is a SF genre based on aliens and is known as a time-slip movie that runs through Joseon Dynasty to the present as the story flows between time and space.

Source (1, 2, 3)

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