D-WAR Becomes DRAGON WARS for September US Release
A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE
Last month, the Korean film distributor Showbox officially announced that the big budget monster movie D-WAR would be released to theaters in both South Korea and the United States. Now, as the theatrical launch draws near, Younggu Art Entertainment/D-War Production Office has provided additional information and an exclusive first look at the DRAGON WARS “tall wall” banner. In the weeks to come, these banners will be placed on the sides of skyscrapers to give the impression that the buildings are being destroyed by the evil monster Buraki.
In America, the film will open nationwide on September 14 with the revised title DRAGON WARS. Freestyle Releasing will distribute the film to a reported 1,500 screens across the country, making DRAGON WARS the first Korean movie ever to receive a wide release in America. DRAGON WARS has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA.
The final edit for both the US and Korean versions of the film run approximately 92 minutes, considerably shorter than the 110 minute cut first shown at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, CA on November 4, 2006, and again at the Berlin Film Market on February 8, 2007. According to D-WAR production company Younggu Art Entertainment, the film was tightened to improve pacing based on feedback from preview screenings.
This upcoming weekend, D-War Production Office and Freestyle are hosting a DRAGON WARS presentation at Comic Con International in San Diego, CA.
From the press release…
DRAGON WARS (aka D-WAR)! Dragon-like creatures from an ancient legend appear in Los Angeles and terrorize the city in search of a mysterious girl. A TV reporter investigating the incidents uncovers a piece of debris that directly links him to his destiny as an ancient warrior who was reborn to protect this unknown girl from the evil dragons and save the city from total destruction. Based on a Korean legend and directed by Korean superstar Hyung-rae Shim. Appearing in person: Jason Behr (ROSWELL, THE GRUDGE), Amanda Brooks and Craig Robinson (THE OFFICE). In theaters September 14 from Freestyle Releasing. Ballroom 20, Sunday, July 29 at 12pm.
For more information on the DRAGON WARS panel, please visit the Comic Con International website.
DRAGON WARS will also have a Hollywood premiere in early September. The event is in the planning stages, and SciFi Japan will provide further details as they become available.
In Korea, D-WAR will open on August 1; one day earlier than the previously announced release date. The movie has been rated 12, the Korean equivalent of a PG rating in the United States.
On July 11, the South Korean movie website MaxMovie began selling a special limited edition D-WAR advance ticket package. The package consists of 4 online movie tickets for D-WAR and an exclusive Buraki the evil Imoogi figure that was sculpted by Younggu Art’s modeling department. The price was 32,000 Korean won (approximately $35 US). Only 250 advance ticket packages were made available, and they completely sold out within the first hour.
A fan meeting called the ‘D-WAR Supporters’ Night’ was held on July 18 at Megabox Cineplex KOEX, located in Samsung-dong, Seoul. About 400 fans, gathered from two official internet fan clubs, attended the event. Five minutes of footage from D-WAR was screened along with a making-of featurette, a montage of “cheering message” videos made by fan club members, and the film’s theatrical trailer. Director Hyung-rae Shim gave a speech and answered questions from the audience. Being a famous comedian in his home country, Shim kept the crowd laughing. He also sparked huge applause from attendees when he said, “As a comedian, I have made people laugh for the last 20 years. And now, as a filmmaker, I wish to inspire them with pride – that Korean films can be an international success.”
Following a cake cutting celebration and gift presentation, Hyung-rae Shim hugged or shook hands with all 400 fans as they exited the theater. The attendees were also given a D-WAR goods package that included a large poster with Shim’s autograph, a t-shirt and a press release book. For more on the event, please see the Korean website Extreme Movie.
The movie was screened for the Korean press and distributors on July 23. Showbox spared no expense for the event, renting five screens at the Megabox Cineplex. The cinema is one of the largest theater complexes in Seoul, and hundreds of people turned out for the preview screening. Hyung-rae Shim was again on hand to take part in a Q&A session.
On July 31, D-WAR star Jason Behr, actor Craig Robinson, sound director Mark Mangini, and Freestyle Releasing’s Mark Borde will visit South Korea for a short promotional tour. Their schedule includes meeting with fans and signing sessions.