Malaysians' love of K-Dramas and South Koreans' love of the Musang King durian has proven to be a winning combination.
The first Malaysian and South Korean joint venture film, set for release in June next year, is an action adventure titled The Lord Musang King, and features promising young stars from both countries.
With dialogue in Malay, English and Korean, it is produced by Hundred Years Popcorn Production, with Ong Peng Chu as executive producer, Datuk Seri Zaienal Abidin Omar as co-executive producer, actor Eddie Chow as producer, and South Korea's Lee Moon Ho as director.
The cast comprises Yusuf Bahrin, Harissa, Fimie Don, Azri Sabri, Hafizuddin Fadzil, Chow and Jay Iswazir from Malaysia as well as Kim Bo Yeon and Kwak Dong Hyuk from South Korea, among others.
The Lord Musang King, which will begin filming for a month around the Klang Valley on Aug 11, was launched at Park 28 Restaurant in Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya today by Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin.
Also present were National Film Development Corporation (Finas) board member Adam Ham and Hundred Years Popcorn chairman Datuk Aziz Bakar.
Ong said that the idea behind the film cropped up when he was enjoying a feast of durians with Lee somewhere in the Klang Valley two months ago.
"We are both fans of the King of the Fruits especially the Musang King, so we decided that Malaysia's first joint venture film with South Korea have it as the central subject," said Ong.
Lee, who co-wrote the script with Chow, said that the durian was synonymous with Malaysia in the eyes of many South Korean moviegoers.
"Malaysians love K-Dramas, and I strongly believe now is the right time for a joint Malaysian and Korean adventure, centred around Malaysia's most popular 'ambassador' the durian," said Lee, who watched best-selling action films Paskal and Wira to prepare for his first Malaysian film.
Chow, who has been acting in films and dramas for a decade, said that the RM2.5 million film would mark his debut as a producer.
"I play the bad guy, a greedy Korean businessman who wants to monopolise the fruit market," he said.
Yusuf, who plays the hero Haikal, said that it was an honour to work with a well-known South Korean filmmaker.
"It is an honour to be directed by Lee, as I greatly admire the work ethics of Korean filmmakers and artistes. This is my golden chance to prove that as a Malaysian, I can thrive in a world class production," said Yusuf, adding that he and his co-stars would work closely with Korean language translators on the film set.
For Hafizuddin who has worked under American and Indian directors, it is a wish come true to work with a Korean director.
The Lord Musang King tells the story of Haikal, the son of a successful fruit farmer Samad (Hafizuddin) who has been framed and jailed for a crime he did not commit. His father strikes a deal with a South Korean businessman Jin (Chow), and promises to buy over his company in exchange for helping to get Haikal out of jail. Unfortunately, Samad is killed before the deal is made, and the now released Haikal cooperates with the police to bring Jin to justice.
Source: August 5, 2022 New Straits Times