‘Time To Hunt’, the Korean crime thriller that was recently barred from making its debut on Netflix after a last-minute court injunction, will now be heading onto the streamer after the dispute was resolved.
The movie was originally scheduled for theatrical release in Korea on February 26, but that was canned after the COVID-19 theater closures. Subsequently, producer Little Big Pictures struck a world rights deal with Netflix, which set a premiere for April 10 in 190 countries. However, just before the film’s online bow, international sales rep Contents Panda filed an injunction against the production company, claiming it still had a valid contract and had already inked 30 territory deals on the title. After a Seoul court granted the motion, the Netflix release was delayed.
Now, Little Big Pictures has backed down, releasing a statement today apologizing for the move and saying “a smooth agreement with minimal cost” had been reached. Contents Panda also put out a statement saying it had negotiated compensation with distributors who had pre-bought the film and that the VOD release could now go ahead. You can read more from the statements below.
Netflix did not release a statement but did confirm that the film was cleared to launch on its platform, on an as-yet unspecified new date.
Time To Hunt, which premiered at the Berlinale this year, was written and directed by Sung-hyun Yoon. The film stars Lee Je Hoon, Choi Woo Shik, Ahn Jae Hong, and Park Jung Min. Set in a near future, it follows a group of young people who commit crimes to survive in a Korea hit by financial crisis.
“First of all, we are deeply sorry to those who have been interested in Time To Hunt. As the distributor of the film, we feel sorry and responsible for the confusion being caused,” read the Little Big Pictures statement. “We thought the worldwide streaming premiere over 190 countries on Netflix could be a good way to promote Korean films, production staff, directors and actors to the world. However, due to the impractical progress, we unilaterally sent a notice of termination while ignoring the achievement of Contents Panda, the world sales agent, who highly contributed in world sales over a year, and we received the restraining order from the court. We respect the court’s decision and ask for an apology from Contents Panda,” it continued.
“Since signing an overseas sales contract with Little Big Pictures in January last year, we have faithfully fulfilled our responsibilities to promote the film to the world,” as stated by Contents Panda. “When the common sense procedure was ignored and the contract was terminated, we confirmed our legitimate rights and obligations with the court, in order to prevent our trust with overseas buyers who signed the contract believing in the legitimate rights of Content Panda and to protect ourselves from being undermined by speculation based on false information. Since then, after renegotiating with overseas buyers, we have reached an agreement with Little Big Pictures to withdraw injunction and to assure that there is no problem to release Time To Hunt through Netflix.”