Korea to adapt Prisoners of War

HatufimSouth Korean drama producer Star J Entertainment has acquired local rights to Keshet International’s espionage drama Prisoners of War.

The show, which Showtime remade in the US to huge success as Homeland, will be produced in partnership by Star J CEO Youngbeom Jeong, EnterMedia Contents co-founder Sebastian Lee and Hollywood-based producer Teddy Zee, with local movie actor Nam-gil Kim attached to star.

It’s understood producers will get talent in place before unveiling a local broadcaster for the project, which will focus on the fractious relationship between South and North Korea.

Prisoners of War (aka Hatufim) originally broadcast on Israeli channel Keshet in 2011 and achieved impressive ratings results. The second season finale scored a 47.9% share, according to format distributor Keshet International.

Alon Shtruzman, CEO Keshet International, said: “We are very excited about the first Asian adaptation of Prisoners of War, I look forward to seeing how the Koreans interpret this incredible story. It’s a gem in our portfolio which is continuously evolving and extending its lifecycle internationally.”

Prisoners of War beat Homeland to the top prize at the Seoul International Drama Awards last year, which was the first indication a local remake could be in the works.

Star J’s Yeong added: “This production represents a dream come true for my partner and client Nam-gil Kim.”

Besides the Showtime remake, Prisoners of War has also been adapted in Russia and Turkey, and the finished tape has sold to channels such as Sky Arts in the UK, SBS in Australia and Arte in France and Germany and VOD platforms including Hulu and Netflix in Scandinavia.

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