You may not know CJ Entertainment, but you know their work. The South Korean production company has famously had a hand in two of director Bong Joon Ho’s most successful film—the 2013 dark sci-fi drama Snowpiercer, and his Palme d’Or-winning black comedy, Parasite. On the heels of those and further successes, CJ is expanding its presence in Hollywood.
As Variety reports, CJ, which has been working on building a dedicated presence in the United States for years now, is preparing to infuse even more resources into its US branch, with the goal of it operating as a wholly independent unit of the now-worldwide publisher.
“We began our US business in 2006, starting by selling remake rights of our films to studios,” Jerry Ko, CJ’s head of international, told Variety. From there, the Hollywood enterprise grew, especially with the meteoric rise of Snowpiercer and the increased popularity of Bong Joon Ho’s work in the English-speaking world. Now, the company will be scaling up the growing presence.
“Currently, we have a U.S development and production team that is split between Korea and the U.S., with Korea acting as the ultimate decision-maker, as well as being the provider of Asian IP and talent,” said Ko. “However, as the business grows and becomes more stable, we’ll ultimately have the U.S. office act on its own. We have concrete plans to strengthen the U.S. operation in the near future.”
What this means for American audiences is that we’ll likely be seeing even more excellent cinema from South Korean talent in the future, both in Korean and in English, and a suite of films designed to play both in our audience and in the Asian market.
“In the past, we went to Hollywood asking for scripts for us to shoot in Korea, or to attach Korean talent to. We did not find a single one that was meaningful. They were usually scripts passed by other companies. Now, we focus on those English-language films that have potential also in Asia. Music, romance, romantic comedy and horror are the strongest English-language genres in our territories,” Kodd added.
More horror? Oh, that is interesting indeed. And it’s exciting to see CJ expand in America—the more international talent we’re exposed to as filmgoing audiences, the better.