South Korean media outlet Yonhap News Agency reported on August 3 that Lee had revised several key lines and scenes in the film following its premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in order to contextualise the film’s political setting for global audiences.
An international version of Hunt will now see the addition of further elaboration of South Korean politics in the ’80s. “When writing the script of Hunt, I set younger generations in South Korea who learn about the era from history textbooks as the target audience. I thought foreign viewers would be the same,” Lee told the publication.
“But at Cannes, about 30 per cent of foreign media reviews complained that it was hard for them to keep up with the story as they didn’t know about Korean politics in the 1980s. That was beyond my expectations.”
According to Yonhap News Agency, he told press that he should have done more to convey the political and social pressures that took over the nation in that era for non-Koreans, which largely stemmed from geopolitical tensions with North Korea and military dictatorship.
“On my way back home from France, I changed some parts of lines. And then, I re-edited the movie clip and asked actors to re-record the dialogues,” Lee said. “Thanks to reactions at Cannes, I was able to make the revisions to help more viewers get a better understanding.
Following its premiere at Cannes, Hunt is slated to hit South Korean theatres from August 10 onwards. The film is also set to be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival this year, taking place from September 8 to 18.
Set in the ’80s, Hunt follows two top National Intelligence Service (NIS) agents who uncover shocking truths as they chase down the person in charge of North Korean spies who have infiltrated the country. Watch the trailer here.