The film “The Match” starring actors Lee Byung-hun and Yoo Ah-in as legendary Go players will be released as a Netflix movie.
According to the film industry on Oct 11th, Netflix and “The Match” agreed to release “The Match” as a Netflix movie and are in the final stages of coordination. “The Match” is the story of a Go master who has to compete inevitably with his student. It is based on the true story of 9-dan professional Go players Cho Hun-hyun and Lee Chang-ho, a teacher and a disciple who had no choice but to become rivals. “The Sheriff in Town” director Kim Hyung-joo grabbed the megaphone and MoonLight Film Company was in charge of producing.
Lee Byung-hun and Yoo Ah-in played Cho Hun-hyun and Lee Chang-ho, who were legends of Go, teacher – student and fateful rivals. It was the first time for Lee Byung-hun and Yoo Ah-in to work together, drawing attention from both inside and outside the film industry.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, “The Match” investment was completed due to the completion of the scenario and the appearance of actors Lee Byung-hun and Yoo Ah-in. The work started filming in December 2020 and finished filming in April 2021. Afterwards, “The Match” had been preparing for release while working on post-production, but it became difficult due to various circumstances. It will finally be released as a Netflix movie after months of negotiations.
Starting with “Time to Hunt”, Netflix bought all the rights of Korean films that were difficult to be released during the pandemic such as “Space Sweepers”, “The Call”, “What Happened to Mr. Cha?”, “Night in Paradise”, “Yaksha: Ruthless Operations” and released them in Korea and worldwide as Netflix’s original films. Netflix, which has been concentrating on its original movies and series for a while, is said to have carried out such a contract after paying attention to the level of completion of “The Match” and “big cards” called Lee Byung-hun & Yoo Ah-in.
Meanwhile, as “The Match” is scheduled to be released as a Netflix movie, attention is being paid to the direction of Korean films that have not been released during the pandemic. This year, social distancing has been lifted and Korean commercial films that have not been released are being released one after another, but they have not achieved clear results except for some.
In the midst of this, the existing holdback formula (minimum period of time from the release in theaters to the release on secondary platforms such as online) is being broken down, with “Hansan: Rising Dragon” and “Emergency Declaration” being released directly on the OTT service Coupang Play without going through VOD services. The film industry is paying attention as the highly anticipated Korean movie “The Match” went straight to Netflix. This is because it is the butterfly effect of theater fees that have increased for 3 consecutive years.
Korean films that have not been released during the pandemic are confirming their theatrical release one after another, but there is no reason to insist on a theatrical release if they continue to fail to achieve clear results. As theater fees, which have increased for 3 consecutive years, are being pointed out as the biggest factor holding back audiences’ visits to theaters, consultations with the film industry are necessary. This is because if promising Korean films are reluctant to release and choose to go to OTT, theaters and IPTV companies will eventually suffer the loss. There are many Korean films that are planning to be released in theaters next year, but the fact that there are not many films planned to be released in 2024 due to low investment is also a warning sign.
The direct run to Coupang Play of “Hansan: Rising Dragon”, “Emergency Declaration” and to Netflix of “The Match” are signs that it is time for the Korean film industry to put their heads together again.